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Minjee: Big year begins in Adelaide

Minjee Lee
Minjee Lee during the final round of the CME Group Tour Championship.

Forget her marathon 2015 season; Minjee Lee is looking to play even more golf in 2016.

Even without an Olympic appearance, which seems a virtual certainty for the World Number 18, Lee has pencilled in 30 of the 34 events on this year’s LPGA calendar.

After 29 events in 2015 that netted over $1 million in winnings, a two month “break” in Perth is exactly what the Royal Fremantle teenager needed to refresh her batteries — even if it meant her leisure time was juggled with an intense training regime with coach Ritchie Smith.

“It’s nice to just be home and see familiar faces and familiar places,” said Lee.

“I’ve been training a lot at home, but I did take a couple weeks off golf which was nice. In between practice you can still see your friends and go to the beach.”

While Lee says it would be “pretty cool” to represent Australia at the highest level at the Olympics, she’s also eying off next month’s ISPS HANDA Australian Open as another highlight on her calendar.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” said Lee.

“It’s our national title and it’s always great feeling to play, but it’s even better if you can get a good result,”

The women’s Australian Open will make Adelaide home from 2016, with this year’s Open being played at the same club as Minjee’s 2014 Australian Amateur triumph, although not on her preferred course.

 “I played the Grange for the Aussie Am, but it was mainly on the East Course and the Australian Open is on the West Couse,” said Lee.

“I think I only played one or two rounds there, so I don’t think I’ll be able to take too much into it.”

Lee was speaking at her home club, where she took the time to give a short-game coaching session to their junior pennant side alongside RFGC professional Oliver Goss.

“They were fun!” said Lee of her afternoon.

“I’ve known some of the younger ones growing up and see their parents around, and it’s good to see them all again and say hello.

“This is the first time I’ve had the chance to do something like this at the club, and I really enjoyed hanging out with the younger kids today.”

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