11 Jan 2022 | Professional golf |
Lee siblings nominated for Aussie golf's top honour
by PGA of Australia
By Tony Webeck
The Greg Norman Medal has become a family affair for the first time in its history with siblings Minjee and Min Woo Lee both nominated for Australian golf’s top honour.
A celebration of another outstanding year of performances by Australians across the globe, the Greg Norman Medal has become a feature of the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship week, bolstered even further this year by the inaugural Fortinet Australian WPGA Championship at Royal Queensland Golf Club.
The winner of the Greg Norman Medal will be announced at a gala dinner in Brisbane on Tuesday night along with the WPGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year and the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year.
Minjee Lee is already a past winner of the Greg Norman Medal having become the first female winner in 2018 but will have to stave off a hot field of contenders for the 2021 gong, including her younger brother.
Minjee had seven top-five finishes on the LPGA Tour in 2021 and ended the year ranked No.7 in the world, her year etched into Australian golf folklore with a breakthrough major championship.
Starting the final round of the Aumundi Evian Championship seven shots off the lead, that long-awaited major appeared unlikely yet she closed with four birdies in her final five holes to force a playoff, defeating Korea’s Jeongeun Lee6 at the first sudden-death hole to equal the record for the largest final-round comeback in the history of women’s majors.
But little brother also had a moment to savour in 2021.
Min Woo triumphed in a playoff also at the abrn Scottish Open, his second DP World Tour title and the cornerstone of a year in which he finished inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings to earn a coveted invitation to The Masters in 2022.
One player with strong claims to upset the Lee family is Victorian Lucas Herbert.
Herbert led from start to finish in winning his second DP World Tour event at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, earned his PGA TOUR card at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals and then in just his third start as a member came from four strokes back to win the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
Australia’s men’s Olympic golf duo Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman are also seeking to add a second Greg Norman Medal win to career resumes that continue to grow.
Smith is the most recent recipient of the Greg Norman Medal while Leishman was victorious in 2017, the pair nominated for years highlighted by their joint win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and performances at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Greg Norman Medal dinner will also showcase the outstanding work done by PGA Professionals in coaching and management.
Coach of the Lee siblings along with 2019 Greg Norman Medal winner Hannah Green, Ritchie Smith has been nominated for the High Performance Coach of the Year category along with Smith’s coach Grant Field, Gary Barter, Tim Wood, Gareth Jones and Scott Laycock.
Further awards include the Management Professional of the Year, Club Professional of the Year and Game Development Coach of the Year.
Past Greg Norman Medal winners 2015 Jason Day 2016 Jason Day 2017 Marc Leishman 2018 Minjee Lee 2019 Hannah Green 2020 Cameron Smith
Greg Norman Medal Minjee Lee Min Woo Lee Cameron Smith Lucas Herbert Marc Leishman
WPGA Player of Year Su Oh Stephanie Kyriacou Hannah Green
PGA Tour of Australasia Player of the Year Brad Kennedy Bryden Macpherson Blake Windred Jack Thompson Michael Sim
PGA National Management Professional Of The Year Luke Altschwager – QLD Brad Alton – VIC Tristan McCallum – WA Anthony Sinclair – NSW/ACT
PGA National Club Professional of the Year Brent Barlow – QLD Justin Burrage – VIC Matthew Heath – WA James Single – NSW/ACT Ian Pritchard – SA Matthew Docking – TAS
PGA National Coach of the Year (High Performance) Grant Field – QLD Tim Wood – VIC Ritchie Smith – WA Gary Barter – NSW/ACT Gareth Jones – SA Scott Laycock – TAS
PGA National Coach of the Year (Game Development) John Collins – QLD Jamie McCallum – VIC Mark Tibbles – WA Anthony Summers – NSW/ACT Sarah King – SA Adam Holden – TAS
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