Golf Australia

Lee, Kalz reach benchmark status

Min Woo Lee and Jackson Kalz
Min Woo Lee and Jackson Kalz are benchmark athletes for 2018.

Perth's Min Woo Lee and Adelaide's Jackson Kalz have become Golf Australia benchmark athletes on top of some outstanding results.

Lee, 19, reached Tier 1 benchmark status when he recently reached the quarter-finals of the World Super 6 Perth, a tier one event on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia.

This follows the Royal Fremantle Golf Club member having reached the top 15 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings based on some excellent results through 2017.

Kalz, who has since turned 18, reached Tier 2 status as a junior having won two national junior events (Vic Junior Open and Vic Junior Masters) and his top-four finish at the IMG Junior World Championships last year.

The South Australian state representative will, in midyear, start his US college career at Iowa State University. Golf Australia will work with Iowa State to integrate his development process.

Lee and Kalz become the fourth and fifth athletes to reach benchmark status since Golf Australia introduced the criteria early last year when Travis Smyth, Grace Kim and Josh Armstrong met the requirements.

The benchmark athlete status enables extra benefits for both players over and above their existing funding and support through Golf WA and Golf SA, respectively. They retain their new status until 31 December.

Among a range of additional benefits, they will get a stipend for travel to international tournaments, more funding towards coaching fees and sports science expenses and a subsidy towards playing professional events.

Golf Australia high performance director Brad James was excited with the pair's progress and to be able to help their future development.

He also said it was a great example of how the new nationally co-ordinated "benchmark athlete" model worked.

"Those two, along with all other high performance squad members in the state programs around Australia, already receive funding and other `home-base' support as they develop," James said.

"In this instance, their benchmark status is additional backing on top of that provided by the Golf WA and Golf SA HP programs.

"We are excited to see both athletes take the next step in their careers."

See www.golf.org.au/hp-program and www.golf.org.au/selectionpolicies for more information on the Golf Australia high performance program.


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