Lee in Contention After Strong Opening Round

Golf | Published: Thu 18 August 2016
Golf: Women’s Individual Stroke Play – Round 1
Athlete: Minjee Lee
Venue: Olympic Golf Course

Three birdies on the last four holes from Minjee Lee has lifted the Australian to within four shots of the lead after Day 1 of the women’s Olympic golf tournament in Rio this afternoon.

Lee’s hot-streak at the end of the first round could prove timely with winds in excess of 45km per hour forecast throughout the day tomorrow.

"I don’t think you can win the tournament on the first day but you can play yourself out of the tournament,” Lee said.

The Perth-born world number 17 played solidly for the first nine holes but bogeys on 10 and 11 blotted her copybook.

However, birdies on 15, 17 and 18 means she is handily placed in the four-round competition headed by clubhouse leader Ariya Jutanugarn (-6) from Thailand.

Korean duo Inbee Park and Seiyoung Kim are a shot further back on five under. "I thought I was pretty good throughout the first half but the back nine obviously didn’t start too well with a couple of bogeys,” Lee said.

"I finished strongly, which was pleasing, and I’m in a good position going into tomorrow.

"The course is getting a little bouncier and it’s a good challenge out there.”

Fellow Australian Su Oh carded an even par 71 after an up-and-down front nine that included a double bogey on the fourth and two birdies.

Oh finished her round narrowly missing an eagle putt on the 18th but did sink the birdie opportunity to head to the clubhouse tied for 26th.

"I really fought hard today and played quite solidly. It wasn’t easy with the wind picking up as the day went on,” said Oh.

"I made a few bad shots which were tough to recover from, but I also made some really good saves. "I’m pretty happy to score even par.”

Su Oh this morning became the first Australian female golfer to play a shot in the Olympics when she teed off at 10.14am local time.

Steve Stammers