Lee Stays in Touch After Strong Second Round

Golf | Published: Fri 19 August 2016

Golf: Women’s Individual Stroke Play – Round 2

Athlete: Minjee Lee

Venue: Olympic Golf Course


 
Australian Minjee Lee has kept herself in the hunt for an Olympic medal with an impressive four under par in the second round in Rio on Thursday.

 

The Perth native holed six birdies in the first 10 holes to give her the outright lead but found the going a little tougher on the last eight holes as Lee saved pars on 11, 12 and 13 before bogeying the par three 14th.

 

Pars on the final four holes leave her tied for eighth on -6, four shots behind Korea's Inbee Park who is on -10. American Stacy Lewis, who shot 11 birdies in an astonishing round of 63, is second on -9

After 36 holes of the four round event Lee is in touch with the leaders of the 60-strong field.

 

"I started really good today,” Lee said.

 

"The wind got up and we were on the clock for most of the back nine which threw my rhythm out a bit. But I made some good saves and I’m happy with my result.

 

"I think the birdies and my par saves were as important as each other. I just tried to make do with what I had, when the wind got up I struggled so had to adjust my game accordingly.”

 

Lee’s playing partners Hee Young Yang and Sandra Gal were also in superb form during the opening nine holes – with the former scoring five birdies from the first six holes - something Lee believes spurred her on.

 

"I think it really helps if the other players you’re playing with are playing well. It gives you a big motivation to keep playing well when the others are running hot too.”

 

Lee’s compatriot Su Oh had another mixed day at the office, ending one over par after a round that promised so much more.

 

Oh birdied the 1st and 5th but had to wait until the 16th before holing another. Bogeys on two, seven, 14 left her even par going into the last but Oh couldn’t capitalise on a tough birdie opportunity, instead three-putting on the green to finish with a 72, one over overall and tied for 38th.

 

With Lee well placed with two rounds to play, the Australian doesn’t believe nerves, or the big occasion, will hamper her efforts to claim a gold medal.

 

"Hopefully I’ll be good with any nerves,” she said. "I’ve won tournaments before so this shouldn’t be any different.

 

"You should just play your game and not think about anyone else’s game. You can only control what you can control and no one else.

 

"It definitely helps that people in Australia are getting behind me. That’s what you hope for and the more support behind me the better.”

 

And on the significance of playing for Australia in the Olympic Games, Lee added:

 

"I think when you’re on the course you don’t really think about how important this is. But when you’re not, you do realise how big the tournament is – you’re not just representing yourself but the whole country. It’s pretty cool.”

 

Steve Stammers
olympics.com.au