02 Mar 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies On Tour: Min Woo Lee's Augusta assignment

by Australian Golf Media

Min Woo Lee Bay Hill image
Min Woo Lee is teeing it up at Bay Hill. Photo: Getty

By Tony Webeck

Min Woo Lee has booked a debut at THE PLAYERS Championship; his next assignment is to secure a return to Augusta National starting at this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

The fourth of the PGA TOUR’s elevated events for 2023 has drawn 44 of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking at a time when it is never more important to be a top-50 ranked player. The only way into The Masters now is to be inside the top 50 the week the golf world turns its sole focus to Augusta and three Aussies in action this week are walking that tightrope. The champion at Bay Hill Club and Lodge in 2016, Jason Day is in week two of his return to the top 50 and will tee it up alongside Will Zalatoris and Viktor Hovland while Lee is the bubble boy at No.50 in the current ranking. After a Sunday 66 at The Honda Classic, Lee has been drawn to play with Sam Ryder and Adam Schenk for the first two rounds as he seeks to assert his presence on the PGA TOUR. Currently on the outside looking in, Lucas Herbert dropped two spots to be No.51 in the ranking on the back of a tie for 50th at the WM Phoenix Open and tie for 58th at Honda.

He made a brilliant start to his year with two top-three finishes in the Middle East but must now transfer that form to the United States if he is to play his way into The Masters. After battling illness in the early part of the year Cam Davis will be hoping to arrest his slide in the world rankings with a strong showing while Kiwi Ryan Fox will make his tournament debut at the house Arnie built. Another making their debut this week is West Australian Kirsten Rudgeley. The 2022 winner of The Athena has joined the pro ranks and is one round into her maiden appearance on the Ladies European Tour. She had four bogeys and two birdies in an opening round of 75 at the Joburg Ladies Open in South Africa, tied for 65th and eight strokes off the lead. Australia’s two highest-ranked women – Minjee Lee and Hannah Green – are in Singapore for the HSBC Women’s World Championship and the Epson Tour season opener will see TPS Murray River champion Sarah Jane Smith, Gabriela Ruffels, Robyn Choi and Hira Naveed tee it up. There is also a strong Aussie presence on the PGA TOUR Champions this week with Mark Hensby, Stuart Appleby, Richard Green, Rod Pampling, John Senden and David McKenzie all taking part in the Cologuard Classic in Florida. Round 1 tee times AEDT PGA TOUR

Arnold Palmer Invitational Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Orlando, Florida 11.05pm* Min Woo Lee, Sam Ryder, Adam Schenk 11.44pm Cam Davis, Si Woo Kim, Ryan Brehm 12am* Jason Day, Will Zalatoris, Viktor Hovland 12.17am Lucas Herbert, Russell Henley, Luke Donald 12.28am Ryan Fox (NZ), Ryan Palmer, Christiaan Bezuidenhout 12.33am* Aaron Baddeley, Scott Stallings, David Lipsky 5.01am Adam Scott, Tom Kim, Hideki Matsuyama Defending champion: Scottie Scheffler Past Aussie winners: Rod Pampling (2006), Jason Day (2016), Marc Leishman (2017) TV times: Live 6am-10am Friday, Saturday; Live 4.30am-10am Sunday on Fox Sports 503; Live 4.30am-10am Monday on Fox Sports 505. Puerto Rico Open Grand Reserve Golf Club, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico 10.10pm Geoff Ogilvy, Ted Potter Jr, Derek Ernst 10.32pm* Cameron Percy, Matt Every, Parker McLachlin 3.02am* Greg Chalmers, Grayson Murray, Bo Van Pelt Defending champion: Ryan Brehm Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 2am-5am Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live from 6.30am Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports +. LPGA Tour

HSBC Women’s World Championship Sentosa Golf Club (Tanjong Cse), Singapore 11.30am* Hannah Green, Mina Harigae, Lizette Salas 12.25pm Minjee Lee, Lydia Ko (NZ), Nelly Korda Defending champion: Jin Young Ko Past Aussie winners: Karrie Webb (2011) TV times: Live 12.30pm-5.30pm Thursday, Friday; Live 1.30pm-6.30pm Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 505. Ladies European Tour

Joburg Ladies Open Modderfontein Golf Club, Lethabong, South Africa Round 2 draw 5.50pm* Momoka Kobori (NZ), Louise Duncan, Lora Assad 8.41pm Wenyung Keh (NZ), Kelsey Nicholas, Gabrielle Macdonald 10.09pm Kirsten Rudgeley, Tereza Melecka, Tiffany Arafi Defending champion: Linn Grant Past Aussie winners: Nil PGA TOUR Champions

Cologuard Classic Omni Tucson National, Tucson, Arizona 4.41am Mark Hensby, Paul Goydos, Joe Durant 4.52am Stuart Appleby, John Huston, Olin Browne 4.52am* John Senden, Wes Short Jr, Tim Herron 5.03am Rod Pampling, Colin Montgomerie, Brett Quigley 5.58am* Richard Green, Rob Labritz, David Morland IV 6.09am* David McKenzie, Brian Cooper, Brad Adamonis Defending champion: Miguel Angel Jiménez Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: 7.30pm-8.30pm Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live from 9am Sunday on Fox Sports +; Live from 8.30pm Monday on Fox Sports +. Epson Tour

Florida’s Natural Charity Classic Country Club of Winter Haven, Winter Haven, Florida 11.33pm Gabriela Ruffels, Maria Torres, Laetitia Beck 11.55pm* Sarah Jane Smith, Yue Ren, Milagros Chaves 12.06am* Robyn Choi, Kim Kaufman, Ssu-Chia Cheng 4.24am* Amelia Garvey (NZ), Maddi Caldwell-Young, Prima Thammaraks 4.46am Hira Naveed, Gabby Lemieux, Jessica Peng Defending champion: Kum-kang Park Past Aussie winners: Nil

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