• Aussies on Tour: Lee locking in for major run

West Australian Minjee Lee is hopeful that the course that sparked her resurgence 12 months ago can again provide the springboard to more major championship success and a possible Olympic medal.

Lee returns to the Upper Montclair Country Club in New Jersey this week for the Cognizant Founders Cup, a tournament that she won in 2022 and lost in a playoff to Jin Young Ko in 2023.

Prior to that week, Lee had not finished inside the top 40 in four starts in the new LPGA Tour season.

She didn’t finish outside the top 20 in the seven starts that followed and went on to win twice before the end of the year.

Although tied for fourth at the Blue Bay LPGA in March, the 27-year-old has missed three of her past four cuts and, with the US Women’s Open just three weeks away, could use a shot pf confidence.

It’s why coming back to a course where she has enjoyed success prior presents a prime opportunity.

“I really love the test of this golf course,” said Lee.

“The rough is always a little bit thicker here and it’s quite tight off the tee.

“I just like the character of the golf course. It’s just a little bit different.

“The more challenging the better. I can picture the shots a little bit better when it’s a little tighter.

“I just kind of like the test of it. The greens are always a little bit faster and trickier.”

A two-time major champion, Lee has now slipped behind Hannah Green as Australia’s top-ranked player on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking.

Lee knows that the coming months of majors and Olympic Games representation will pass her by if she doesn’t find form soon.

“It’s weird how quickly it goes, already in May,” she said.

“Just had our first major and we have four more left in such a short chunk of time.

“They’re going to be my big focus; obviously the Olympics as well. That’s always a really big thing for me as well.”

Lee is among the nine Aussies in the field and begins her tournament at 9:59pm Thursday night AEST.

In their final tune-up before next week’s US PGA Championship, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Cam Davis are teeing it up in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow and the Australian contingent is six deep at the Regions Tradition on the PGA TOUR Champions leading into the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in two weeks’ time.

Photo: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Round 1 tee times AEST

Cognizant Founders Cup
Upper Montclair Country Club, Clifton, New Jersey
9:26pm            Sarah Kemp
9:48pm*          Robyn Choi
9:59pm*          Minjee Lee
10:10pm*         Hannah Green
10:21pm*         Gabriela Ruffels
10:32pm*         Grace Kim
2:48am            Stephanie Kyriacou
3:10am            Lydia Ko (NZ)
3:10am*           Hira Naveed
3:54am*           Karis Davidson

Defending champion: Jin Young Ko
Past Aussie winners: Karrie Webb (2011, 2014), Minjee Lee (2022)
Prize money: $US3 million
TV times: Live 5am-8am Friday on Fox Sports 506; Live 5am-8am Saturday; Live 6am-8am Sunday; Live 5am-8am Monday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo.

Ladies European Tour
Aramco Team Series Presented by PIF - Korea
New Korea Country Club, Korea
Australasians in the field: Kirsten Rudgeley, Momoka Kobori (NZ)

Defending champion: Pauline Roussin-Bouchard
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Prize money: $US1 million
TV times: Live 4pm-8pm Friday; Live 4pm-7:30pm Saturday; Live 3pm-7pm Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

Epson Tour
Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic
TPC Scottsdale (Champions Cse), Scottsdale, Arizona
1:28am            Su Oh
5:45am            Fiona Xu (NZ)
5:56am*           Cassie Porter
6:07am*           Amelia Garvey (NZ)

Defending champion: Gabriela Ruffels
Past Aussie winners: Gabriela Ruffels (2023)
Prize money: $US400,000

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