Minjee Lee starts with high expectations

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Minjee Lee is number 7 in the world and the reigning Greg Norman medalist, which makes her a big deal. But Australia's best golfer is already planning to improve her 2019, starting with the ISPS Handa Vic Open on 13th Beach this week.

The process is under way.

Lee and her coach in Perth, Ritchie Smith, know very well that the two dominant players on the women's tour, Thailand & # 39; s Ariya Jutanugarn and Sung Hyun Park in South Korea, are long hitters, much more powerful than the slightly built 22- year old of Royal Fremantle.

The two-time Vic Open champion was 37th in driving distance on the LPGA Tour at 238 meters last year, against Jutanugarn & # 39; s 15th at 266 yards (243 meters) and Park & ​​# 39; s sixth at 269 yards (246 meters).

The gap does not seem huge, but it makes a difference, and there is another fact to consider in those statistics: Jutanugarn does not deign to wear a driver. Her three wood goes far enough. "She can surpass me with three woods," Lee said. "That's like a rocket, I think it's the same for everyone." & # 39;

But if she goes on a swing of four events in this part of the world – after 13th Beach it is the ISPS Handa Women & # 39; s Australian Open next week followed by two LPGA tournaments in Asia – Lee has already started her shortcomings to work.

"I think length is probably one of the bigger factors, I've been trying to work on it in low season, and I'll work on that all year too.", Said Lee today.

When she asked her how she could improve her strength of the t-shirt, she said: "I think a little bit about technical stuff and of course I hit it hard at the gym, it's a combination of both. & # 39; & # 39;

Lee, who won here in 2014 and then last year as a teen amateur, said 12 months ago that she wanted to crack the top 10 players in the world in 2018. She achieved that goal with a season on the LPGA Tour that was remarkable for the consistency: a victory, two runners-up, 13 top-10 finishes.

The ranking number 1 is within reach, but only after the processes have been followed. "I'm not trying to put a number on the ranking," she said. "I know I did it last time, I wanted to break into the top 10. But I think closer to the world number 1 spot, I think you can play your process golf and those goals, if you hit them, you closer to the number 1 spot. & # 39;

It is a different feeling for Lee on 13th Beach this year. She is the defending champion, the best ranked player in the field and the media package follows her. She spends more time in her home in Dallas, Texas or in airplanes than in Perth. There is a certain expectation to fulfill. "I've become more mature since 2014," she said. "I try to see myself as about the same person, and I try to carry myself the same thing."

It is a special place for her, given the significance of that amazing achievement in 2014, when she won with six shots, only 17 years old. "When I won it as a" am "it really was a great self-confidence booster for me, so the Vic Open has always been a special tournament to return to. I always like Australia to play in. The Vic Open and the Aussie Open are really big events for me. & # 39;

The changes keep coming. Lee is now in a battle to brag with her younger brother, Min Woo, who has become a professional and last weekend just at his second start was fourth in a European tournament. They are very close, although nowadays they are usually limited to phone calls and texts. "He enjoys it," said Minjee Lee. & # 39; When I am in the city, he is not in the city. We usually miss each other. & # 39; & # 39;

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