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Feb 10th, 2020

Manic Monday

Lee emulates sister with win on home soil

ISPS Handa Vic Open, 13th Beach Golf Links, Melbourne, Australia

Min Woo Lee made history as he stormed to his first European Tour victory at the ISPS Handa Vic Open, on the same golf course where his sister won her first professional title six years ago.

Lee joined his sister Minjee on the roll of honour at 13th Beach Golf Links with a four-under-par final round of 68, finishing two strokes ahead of New Zealander Ryan Fox on 19 under par. Minjee won the women’s ISPS Handa Vic Open, which has been played concurrently at this venue for the last eight years, as an amateur in 2014.

The 21-year-old, making just his 19th European Tour appearance, started the day three strokes clear of playing partners Marcus Fraser and Travis Smyth and showed no sign of nerves as he birdied three of his first four holes, including a chip-in on the first.

The Australian maintained his composure as winds gusted up to 30 miles-per-hour on the Bellarine Peninsula, with ten consecutive pars before his fourth birdie of the day on the 15th hole.

Fox made his charge for a second European Tour victory on the back nine. The Kiwi birdied the 16th hole and carded his second eagle of the day on the 18th for an eight-under-par round of 64, setting the clubhouse target at 17 under.


Lee dropped to 18 under with a bogey on the 17th but finished with aplomb as he birdied the 18th for a tournament-record score of 19 under par and a special victory on home soil.

“I felt really comfortable just because if I did exactly the same as I did yesterday, I felt pretty hard to stop. I started off really hot out the gate and was pretty comfortable those last few holes. I got a bit nervy, but I’m pretty proud of the way I finished,” said Lee after the victory.

Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist matched Lee’s final round of 68 to finish in a share of third place with Australians Fraser and Smyth on 14 under, while Jake McLeod took sixth place on 12 under.

Sam Horsfield, who was in the first group of the day with Geoff Ogilvy and women’s competitor Peiyun Chen, moved to seventh on 11 under par, alongside fellow European Tour member Sami Valimaki of Finland.

Minjee Lee, who won her second women’s ISPS Handa Vic Open title in 2018, finished two strokes behind Hee Young Park, who overcame Hye-Jin Choi and So Yeun Ryu in a four-hole playoff to win her first LPGA title in more than six years.

For the final leaderboard click HERE


AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, California.

Canadian Nick Taylor overcame the elements and the challenge of old-timer Phil Mickelson to take his second PGA title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Taylor started the final round one ahead of Mickelson but an eventful round of  70 saw him finish on nineteen under par, four clear of the field.

Following an eagle at the sixth where he holed his bunker shot Taylor turned for home with a healthy five shot lead. However, a double-bogey at the 14th hole allowed Mickelson to close to within two shots.

The 31-year-old from Winnipeg then proceeded to chip in at the 15th for a birdie and followed it up with a further birdie at the 17th. Mickelson who started his final round with three birdies in the first six holes could not live with the pace and eventually faded to a closing 74 and third position on his own.

Kevin Streelman of America had a storming finish with three birdies in the last five holes to shoot 68 and move past Mickelson into second place.


The win books Taylor a spot at the US Masters in April and moves him up to 101st in the world rankings.

"To do it in that fashion, playing with Phil, gives me a lot of confidence going forward," said Taylor, who led the tournament on all four days.

For the final leaderboard click HERE


ISPS Handa Vic Open, 13th Beach Golf Links, Melbourne, Australia

Korea's Hee Young Park, who was on the verge of quitting golf last year, finally saw off the competition on the fourth hole of a playoff to win the LPGA Tour's Victoria Open.  Park beat her fellow countrywomen Hye-Jin Choi and So Yeon Ryu in all South Korean three-way playoff.

On a day of high winds and with the gloom setting in the trio repeatedly took on the long par five 18th hole to play out a thrilling finale having all finished tied on 281, 8-under par.

Former world number one, Ryu was the first to crack, dropping out on the second playoff hole after missing her birdie putt. Park and Choi could not be separated on the third extra hole but then lady luck dealt Choi a cruel blow.

Choi's tee shot on the fourth playoff hole came to rest against a pine cone in the rough under the trees leaving her with no option but to chip out. Things went from bad to worse when she visited a hazard, en route to taking six to reach the edge of the green.

Park who had earlier missed a six-foot eagle putt on the first playoff hole stayed calm and ultimately two-putted for par to take her third LPGA title.

"Last year was the worst year in my life and I had to go to q-school and I was going to stop golf because I thought (there was) no more game in my mind," Park said. "Then I made q-school and I had a chance to play another year this year.

"I never stopped and I think God gave to me this present."


Another South Korean, A-Yean Cho entered the round a stroke ahead of Sweden’s Madelene Sagstroem but both players stumbled to disastrous final rounds of 81 to plummet down the leaderboard to tied sixteenth and tied twentieth respectively. Alena Sharp of Canada who had been a shot further back from Sagstroem faired slightly better with a closing 77 which was enough to squeeze into the top ten.

Despite coming up agonisingly short So Yeon Ryu has won many plaudits after pledging to donate half her winnings from both the ISPS Handa Vic Open and the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open to brushfire relief efforts in Australia.

“I feel like even though I'm Korean and even though I spent a lot of time in America, I feel like Australia's like my second home,” Ryu said. “I have a lot of Australian staff; my coach is Australian, my physio's Australian and I'm surrounded by a lot of Aussies.  I came to Australia quite a lot to do winter training since I was 18.  I love Australia, you know, food, wine, coffee, but most importantly people are so nice.”

For the final leaderboard click HERE


Ladies European Tour

The next event is the Australian Ladies Classic – Bonville between 20th and 23rd February.



And another thing...

Was Gmac lucky not to be penalised?


TAGS: Manic Monday, European Tour, PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, ISPS Handa Vic Open, Hee Young Park, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Nick Taylor, Phil Mickelson, Min Woo Lee, News, 2020