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Lee emulates sister with special victory on home soil

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Min Woo Lee. © Getty Images
Min Woo Lee. © Getty Images

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 birded 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.

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 play-off to win her first LPGA title in more than six years.

Player Quotes

Min Woo Lee: “I’m pretty proud of the way I played. I thought coming in I had a really good chance because I was hitting it really good, but I think I impressed myself with the game this whole week. Hopefully I’ll have more of these over my whole career.

“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.

“I hit one shot at a time. It’s a cliché, but it’s just that. You can’t really worry about anything else. I hit it so well, I’d give myself nine out of ten for ball striking this week. Coming into today I knew I could just stay calm and just hit every shot the same as the last three days. I was pretty calm until, you know, the last hole. I wasn’t nervous, just on my toes a little bit. I thought it’s a par five, straight downwind, the ball’s not going to curve much off the tee – stripe one down and I thought I had it in the bag from there.”

Ryan Fox: “That was probably the best round I’ve played in a tournament. I would not have thought 64 was out there at the start of the day. I think the only saving grace with this wind direction is you either play a hole straight down or straight into.

“I made a couple of eagles, which was nice. I hit a lot of shots inside of 15‑foot and made a couple of those, which is not really what you expect to do today. I never really felt like I was under any pressure out there which, in conditions like this, that’s always nice.

Robin Sciot-Siegrist: “I think I learned from yesterday. I thought I got angry quite quick. The conditions were tough and I think today I tried to keep it cooler and things went my way. It was a great day, I’m happy to finish on that.

“Two top tens in four tournaments, I’m really happy. I’m happy to put points really quickly on the board, because I need them.”

Final scores:
269 M Lee (Aus) 66 67 68 68;
271 R Fox (Nzl) 67 71 69 64;
274 R Sciot-Siegrist (Fra) 66 64 76 68; M Fraser (Aus) 70 65 69 70; T Smyth (Aus) 65 67 72 70;
276 J McLeod (Aus) 65 68 76 67;
277 S Horsfield (Eng) 70 67 73 67; D Beck (Aus) 69 70 69 69; S Valimaki (Fin) 69 69 70 69; J Morgan (am) (Aus) 66 67 74 70; A Hall (Aus) 67 68 71 71;
278 L Herbert (Aus) 70 69 70 69; N Lemke (Swe) 70 67 72 69; N Flanagan (Aus) 67 67 74 70;
279 D Hillier (Nzl) 68 70 72 69; A Cañizares (Esp) 63 71 76 69; Z Murray (Aus) 66 69 73 71; A Quayle (Aus) 75 64 67 73; M Millar (Aus) 72 66 68 73;
280 R Green (Aus) 70 69 70 71; M Jordan (Eng) 72 66 69 73;
281 C Crawford (Aus) 70 68 72 71; B Eccles (Aus) 68 70 72 71; H Tanihara (Jpn) 70 67 73 71; B Windred (Aus) 69 69 71 72; M Stieger (Aus) 67 69 73 72; B Poke (Den) 68 67 74 72; J Scrivener (Aus) 68 71 69 73; J Felton (Aus) 67 67 74 73; R Karlberg (Swe) 69 68 70 74;
282 B Collyer (Aus) 68 67 74 73;
283 S Arnold (Aus) 68 68 72 75;
284 P Fowler (Aus) 69 70 71 74; D Smail (Nzl) 68 69 72 75; A Martin (Aus) 66 69 73 76;
285 L Tighe (Aus) 69 69 72 75; J Younger (Aus) 68 69 73 75;
287 G Ogilvy (Aus) 67 67 76 77;
211 L Toomey (Nzl) 71 68 72 0; S Garcia Rodriguez (Esp) 68 71 72 0; S Jeffress (Aus) 67 72 72 0; B Kennedy (Aus) 66 72 73 0; J Caldwell (Nir) 67 67 77 0; M Griffin (Aus) 65 68 78 0;
212 M Dive (Aus) 69 70 73 0; P Lonard (Aus) 69 69 74 0; G Paddison (Nzl) 67 71 74 0; C Sharvin (Nir) 70 67 75 0; S Crocker (USA) 67 70 75 0; A Chesters (Eng) 69 67 76 0; D Ackerman (USA) 67 69 76 0; W Besseling (Ned) 67 69 76 0; L Van Meijel (Ned) 68 67 77 0;
213 D Coupland (Eng) 70 69 74 0; A Townsend (Aus) 69 70 74 0; K Yuan (Aus) 69 68 76 0; J Warren (Aus) 65 72 76 0; H Leon (Chi) 68 68 77 0; M Hendry (Nzl) 67 69 77 0; S Wools Cobb (Aus) 67 67 79 0;
214 D Ieremia (Nzl) 70 68 76 0; B Rankin (Aus) 70 67 77 0; A Cockerill (Can) 66 71 77 0; S Allan (Aus) 70 65 79 0;
215 N Cullen (Aus) 68 71 76 0; D Fox (Aus) 70 68 77 0; A Lautee (am) (Aus) 69 67 79 0;
216 R McCarthy (Aus) 68 71 77 0;
217 P Wilson (Aus) 67 70 80 0;
218 C Lee (Kor) 68 71 79 0; A Evans (Aus) 66 71 81 0;
222 R Morrison (Sco) 69 70 83 0;
140 C John (Aus) 72 68 0 0; D Gale (Aus) 72 68 0 0; C Syme (Sco) 72 68 0 0; K McBride (Aus) 72 68 0 0; M Jager (Aus) 71 69 0 0; T Power Horan (Aus) 71 69 0 0; J Marchesani (Aus) 70 70 0 0; N O’Hern (Aus) 70 70 0 0; A Dodt (Aus) 70 70 0 0; H Li (Chn) 69 71 0 0; J Anstiss (Nzl) 69 71 0 0; M Sim (Aus) 69 71 0 0; K Michel (Aus) 69 71 0 0; T Pilkadaris (Aus) 68 72 0 0; D Law (Sco) 68 72 0 0; S Hawkes (Aus) 67 73 0 0;
141 C Rawson (Nzl) 74 67 0 0; C O’Reilly (Aus) 73 68 0 0; D Brandt-Richards (Aus) 72 69 0 0; W Ormsby (Aus) 71 70 0 0; J Grierson (Aus) 71 70 0 0; G Porteous (Eng) 71 70 0 0; J Catlin (USA) 70 71 0 0; B Watt (Aus) 69 72 0 0; T Macdonald (Aus) 68 73 0 0;
142 M McCardle (Aus) 72 70 0 0; D Williamson (Aus) 72 70 0 0; D Bransdon (Aus) 70 72 0 0; Y Hsu (am) (Tpe) 70 72 0 0; B Rumford (Aus) 70 72 0 0; J Zunic (Aus) 69 73 0 0; D Papadatos (Aus) 69 73 0 0;
143 J Geary (Nzl) 75 68 0 0; L De Jager (RSA) 75 68 0 0; J Kaske (Fin) 73 70 0 0; C Dann (Aus) 71 72 0 0;
144 J Armstrong (am) (Aus) 77 67 0 0; H Bateman (Nzl) 75 69 0 0; P Cooke (Aus) 73 71 0 0; B Proverbs (Aus) 73 71 0 0; D Whitnell (Eng) 72 72 0 0; D Van Driel (Ned) 71 73 0 0; D Nisbet (Aus) 71 73 0 0; J Norris (Aus) 71 73 0 0; L Dobbelar (am) (Aus) 70 74 0 0;
145 A Pike (Aus) 76 69 0 0; J Lyras (Aus) 76 69 0 0; A Schonewille (Aus) 75 70 0 0; H Kong (Aus) 74 71 0 0; R Woodward (Aus) 74 71 0 0; A Simpson (Aus) 72 73 0 0; S Yongcharoenchai (Tha) 72 73 0 0; Q Howe (Aus) 70 75 0 0;
146 M Antcliff (Aus) 73 73 0 0; A Marchesani (Aus) 73 73 0 0;
147 D Perry (Aus) 77 70 0 0; R Kulacz (Aus) 74 73 0 0; J Clarke (Aus) 74 73 0 0; Y Liu (am) (Tpe) 72 75 0 0; P O’Malley (Aus) 72 75 0 0; M Dowling (Aus) 72 75 0 0;
148 Y Chang (Kor) 76 72 0 0; T Gill (Nzl) 70 78 0 0;
149 L Radcliffe (Aus) 78 71 0 0; J Sjöholm (Swe) 77 72 0 0; J Mackenzie (Aus) 74 75 0 0; C Su (am) (Tpe) 72 77 0 0;
150 D Micheluzzi (Aus) 74 76 0 0; L Yip (Aus) 74 76 0 0; R Chisnall (Nzl) 72 78 0 0;
153 L Brown (Nzl) 82 71 0 0;
72 R Hogan (Aus) 72 DISQ 0 0;

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