Tour News

Nine The Magic Number At Vic Opens

Minjee Lee stamped her authority on the Vic Open Friday at 13th Beach (Photo: Paul Shire)
Minus nine is the magic number at 13th Beach where both the men’s and women’s leaders are just shy of being double digits under par heading to the weekend.

Minjee Lee, Australia’s highest ranked player, stamped her authority on the Women’s Vic Open with a 6-under 67 to be three clear of her nearest challengers while Queensland’s Anthony Quayle holds a one stroke lead in the men’s event.

With no bogeys through 36 holes Lee has been a standout, her round on the more difficult Beach Course today particularly impressive.

Several crucial par saving putts maintained her momentum on a day where she made the most of limited opportunities in difficult scoring conditions.

"I holed a couple more putts but I did miss a couple more greens today," she said after the round.

"I have two good rounds under my belt and hopefully I can have another two good rounds.

“I’m just going to do what I’ve been doing and hopefully more putts will drop for me and you know, just play the wind.”

Lee’s 67 was the best round of the day though 17-year-old Taiwanese amateur Heather Lin posted an impressive eight birdies against three dropped shots on the Creek Course to be part of a four way tie for second.

Also at 6-under are former Solheim Cup star Caroline Hedwall, another Swede in Jenny Haglund and Norway’s Marianne Skarpnord, wife of Australia’s Richard Green and a resident at the 3th Beach complex.

In the men’s tournament Quayle has a less secure lead with just one shot between him and former US Amateur champion Nick Flanagan and local Peter Wilson.

The 23-year-old earned status on the Japan Tour with a fourth place finish at their Q-School in December and brought good form to Barwon heads.

Teeing off the 10th, two birdies and an eagle on his outward nine gave him a share of the lead but he surged ahead with four straight from his 11th.

However, he hit a submerged log at the 6th where a double bogey killed his momentum though he was pleased not to compound the error with three straight pars to finish.

“You don’t want to let one bad mistake compound into more mistakes so today I feel like I stepped up from my dent and hit a good shot on the seventh,” Quayle explained.

“Making a mistake like that does seem to kill momentum but it is what it is and it’s going to happen.

“I feel like I’ve had a few solid rounds in big events now and I just have to keep reiterating to myself that I can play well in really good fields.”

With 21 players within five shots of the lead Quayle will have to continue to be at his best if he hopes to lift the trophy Sunday.

Overnight leader David Bransdon struggled on the Beach Course on day two and a 4-over 76 dropped him five off the pace and into a share of 17th.

Lurking just two shots off the pace are Australian PGA runner-up Jordan Zunic and impressive New Zealand rookie Nick Voke while Harrison Endycott is a shot further back alongside Michael Choi.


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