Min Woo Lee is excited to make it a family affair when he tees it up at the ISPS Handa Australian Open alongside sister Minjee, when the tournament features on the DP World Tour for the first time.
The event is being played alongside the Women’s Australian Open at the same time and at the same venues, putting Australian golf on the world stage for two consecutive weeks with Australian PGA Championship staged at Royal Queensland last week, where Cameron Smith thrilled the Brisbane crown with a three-stroke victory.
Victoria Golf Club is the primary host venue across all four days of the tournament and Kingston Heath Golf Club is set to host play on Thursday and Friday.
Two-time DP World Tour winner Min Woo comes into the event on the back of a top-five finish in the season-opening Australian PGA Championship and will hope playing again in front of home fans will inspire him to another strong showing.
World No. 4 Minjee, who won her second major earlier this year, has never won the Women’s Australian Open despite being in contention on numerous occasions in eight attempts, with a best finish of third at Royal Adelaide in 2017.
Meanwhile, home favourite Lucas Herbert is determined to overcome a back injury that forced the 26-year-old to withdraw from last week’s Australian PGA. With some time off over the festive period to come, Herbert was determined to play to maintain some momentum as he looks to move up from 57th into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking and earn a place at the Masters Tournament.
Major winners Adam Scott, Karrie Webb and Ashleigh Buhai are also in the field, while Ryan Fox will hope to end a hugely successful 2022 in style after missing the cut last week at Royal Queensland following a hectic journey from the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
“Just to see the fam I think is a special thing,” said Min Woo. “We don’t get to see each other that much, so just to put the band together, it’s pretty cool. We don’t get to do it that often, so it is very cool. Then we can spend Christmas together, so I think with the schedule and all that, it works really well. It brings everyone together, which is awesome, and what we want and what we need. Especially in Australia, playing in front of the home crowd. It was special last week and I‘m sure this week will be even better.
“I think for both of us we’ve had very good years, so to look back and just give this one a hot crack. It doesn’t really matter how it goes, we’re obviously really happy with the way everything’s gone this year and we’re looking for a rest, but this is obviously a really big event in the schedule and we want to do well in our home event. We’re looking forward to it. We may be tired but I think we’re looking forward to how the week goes.”
Minjee added: “I mean it’s pretty cool to be able to play with the men and also the All Abilities tournament that’s going on all at the same time. Obviously playing with Min Woo and being able to see him is really special to me. Just being back in Australia I think is really cool. I haven’t played in a couple of years back home, so I think it’s going to be a great turnout and I’m looking forward to seeing all the fans come out and maybe a lot of little kids here and there. I think it will be really fun.
“I think the Australian Open, your national championship, is always really high on the list. For me, I always want to do well. The previous Aussie Opens that I have played, I think I haven’t quite shown that as much, so hopefully I can settle the nerves and just enjoy it and just play well for me and play well for the Australian crowd.”
You may also like:
Get the December 2022 edition of Golf Digest Middle East FREE here!
Tiger: I would never take a cart on PGA Tour
Tiger Woods: Greg has to go
OWGR is flawed, says Tiger
LIV Golf reveal their World Cup XI
Hero Cup line-ups announced for Ryder Cup warm-up event in Abu Dhabi
Cam Smith aims to end career-best year on a high
Is it time to abolish OWGR?
Tiger out of Hero World Challenge
Sergio’s run comes to an end
Rory thinks he gave Tiger Covid ahead of the Open
Hedwall claims Open de Espana in dramatic fashion
Emotional triumph for Cam Smith in Australia
Meet Dan Bradbury, DP World Tour’s newest surprise package