Golf: Maiden Major in the bag, Australian Minjee Lee wants more

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SINGAPORE — Professionals on the PGA and LPGA Tour spend countless hours in training and competition honing their craft in pursuit of excellence. And in a sport where the line between good and great can be fine, it’s an insatiable desire for success that separates the elite from the rest of the pack.

Minjee Lee, recently crowned major winner, is a professional golfer who doesn’t want to rest on her laurels.

The 25-year-old had a banner year in 2021, winning her first major title after a dramatic play-off win over Lee6 Jeongeun at the Evian Championship last July. Lee’s stellar year also included seven top-five finishes on the LPGA Tour and his second Greg Norman Medal – an annual award given to the top male or female Australian golf professional on the world stage.

Speaking to The Straits Times, Lee, who is currently world No. 6, outlined his next goal – to be in the top three in the world rankings by the end of the year.

She said: “I think playing good golf will get me there. It will come from a process of improving my game.

“Every year I reflect on what I’ve done. I look at my stats and figure out where I can improve. I work on throwing, putting and improving my short game. That’s been my big priority this offseason.”

The process of improving her game brought Lee to her first major success and she was not surprised by the feat.

On what it’s done for her, she said: “I’ve gained quiet confidence. Now I know I can compete at the level. It’s a great feeling to have. I have a taste and I want more.

“I always work to be better and there is always something to improve.

“Now I want to go on and win a British or US Open. In golf, there are endless goals to achieve. Once you achieve the goal, you reward yourself and then you move on to the next one.”

The Perth resident, who counts American golfing icon Tiger Woods and tennis superstar Serena Williams as her sporting idols, also revealed she is looking to learn from other pros.

Lee, whose younger brother Min Woo is also a golf pro, said, “I watch highlights. I like to see what people are doing well. In short, I like watching Inbee Park (No. world). I think it’s an amazing putter.”

Park and Lee will be among nine of the world’s top 10 players competing in the HSBC Women’s World Championship from March 3-6 at Sentosa Golf Club.

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