Minjee Lee enters her National Championship as the highest ranked Australian golfer in the world at No. 17 and will be looking to add a second title to her LPGA resume at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
“I mean I have high expectations anyway for myself, so a little bit of the expectation is always going to be there playing at home,” Lee said. “I always want to be in contention but yeah I mean I have high expectations for myself to play well, especially at home because I know these conditions pretty well.”
Being the top ranked Australian means that Lee will have a strong chance to be representing her country this summer in Rio at the Olympics.
“I think it’s going to be amazing,” Lee said. “I mean, the Olympics you get to represent your country, it’s like the highest honor that you can have so yeah definitely I think it’s going to be great.”
While the Olympics may be a goal on the horizon, Lee is focused on this week at The Grange.
“It’s the tournament that I always wanted to win, the Aussie Open,” Lee admitted. “it’s like it’s your national championship so yeah I mean I haven’t really thought about it going into this week. I always want to go in with no expectations but obviously you have your own expectations. Ah, yeah, I mean I want to play well so I’ll just do the best that I can here and play one shot as it comes I guess.”
Lee hails from Perth but this week in Adelaide will feel like a home game as several members of her family will be making the trip.
“Yeah, my brother and my Dad flew in today and my Nan and my Mum were already here with me,” Lee explained. “It will be nice. It’s going to feel more like home than anything.”
Ha Na-Gizer Looking For More Wins
Ha Na Jang wrapped up her first career victory at the Coates Golf Championship with a celebration that went viral. While golf fans may be starting to see Jang’s exuberant personality for the first time it’s something that she has been building up since she was a youngster.
“My first tournament start, maybe 12 years ago I played Korean Open so I try like this (first pumps) and then galleries are really fun then big claps so I’m like, `Oh, this is nice’,” Jang remembered. “So this is my character and my image so I try like this (bigger fist pump) and then I’m always watching TV like Tiger (Woods) and Christina Kim and then other fun players like John Daly … and it looks like very fun and a little different style so I try it for my character.”
Jang’s personality will be on full display again this week when she will look to back up her first career victory at the Coates Golf Championship with a solid showing at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.
“I like this area,” Jang said of Adelaide. “The golf course really tough, I think it’s a really tough golf course because it’s really narrow and then very difficult the bunker shot and then the greens are really fast.”
With the victory under her belt many would expect Jang to ease back on her 2016 schedule but the World No. 9 doesn’t see it that way.
“My name is Ha Na Jang, you say like “En-er-giser”, right. Ha Na Jang is “Ha-Na-giser”, so no problem.”
Cheyenne Woods Happy To Be Back Down Under
Cheyenne Woods will look to capture her first LPGA title in the country where she picked up her first professional victory on the Ladies European Tour at the 2014 Volvik RACV Ladies Masters.
“Ah, the memories definitely coming back and playing the Open and then the Masters next week,” Woods said. “I’ve played well in both events before so it’s nice to be here in Australia and have those memories. I love coming here, I love the weather, I love the heat, I love the people, the golf courses are always great to play, so overall it’s always nice to be back down here.”
Woods has already been able to get a taste of the local Adelaide culture as she took part in a photo shoot on a top of a famous Pop-Eye boat earlier this week.
“it’s cool to do something like that when you’re outside of the country because it’s a good experience, gets you away from the golf course and you just get to enjoy being in a country like this.”