The 16-year-old year 10 student from Avondale Golf Club held her nerve over the final holes on a testing Mollymook Hilltop course to force herself into the playoff.
With Queenslander Rhianna Lewis and Sydneysider Chizuru Ueda in the clubhouse at one under, Lee came to the last, needing a birdie. She didn’t disappoint: first by splitting the fairway with one of the drives of the day, she then followed it up with a peerless hybrid from 168 metres to reach the green before two-putting for birdie to book her playoff spot.
Lee admitted she had no idea where she stood coming to the last; a playoff was the last thing on her mind.
“I had no idea where I was on the last, to be honest, but it was a short par-5, and I knew I could make a birdie; that’s all I was thinking about. I was just trying to do my best,” she said.
Then, with a large gallery surrounding the playoff hole (the par-3 9th), Lee calmly slotted a 6-iron from 150 metres to about 40 feet for a two-putt par to claim her first victory against a professional field.
“This course is a very hard course to manage, and I think I did it pretty well,” Lee said after her win.
The youngest player in the field, Lee admitted she tried to treat it as a regular round despite being paired alongside her childhood coach and one of her golfing heroes, Sarah Oh.
“I’ve played with Sarah a couple of times, so I was relaxed; there was a bit more pressure, but it was fun to play with the others,” Lee said.
The win is also the biggest of her young career, and locking away a place in the 2024 NSW Women’s Open – to be played at Magenta Shores on the NSW Central Coast from March 29-31 next year – felt particularly special.
“I’m looking forward to playing at Magenta Shores. It is a great course; I’m very honoured. and this is a very special moment for me,” she beamed.
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