Ga-Young Lee sets course record at Women's Australian Amateur
Ga-Young Lee leads stroke play qualifying by five-strokes <br>(Golf Australia Photo)
Ga-Young Lee leads stroke play qualifying by five-strokes
(Golf Australia Photo)

VICTORIA, Australia (January 17, 2017) -- There are course records, then there’s what Ga-Young Lee did in the Australian Amateur Championship, presented by Swinging Skirts, today.

The Korean obliterated the Peninsula-Kingswood club’s Kingswood course record with a breath-taking 10-under-par 63 to lead by five after the first of two qualifying rounds of stroke play.

In the afternoon field at nearby Yarra Yarra, a rash of late birdies enabled Queenslander Karis Davidson and Tasmanian Georgia Milbourne to sign for 4-under 69's to grab a share of fifth on a day dominated by Lee and her Korean compatriots who own the top four places and have two more at 4- under.

It’s easy to say Lee's mark sounds good, but before you dismiss it as just another number, consider this as background.

Lee’s round whipped a staggering four shots off the previous record; that mark had been held by Australian Olympian and LPGA Tour star Su Oh; and when that mark was set, Kingswood played 200m shorter than it did today and Oh was a member.

Oh, and did we mention she’s just 17?

Sure, we have to take into consideration the relative difficulty of Kingswood against nearby Yarra Yarra, where many of the top Australian chances played this afternoon.

But Lee, the reigning New South Wales Amateur champion after a successful visit last summer, also played in gustier morning conditions and showed a clean pair of Niblicks to even her vaunted national teammates, the holders of the world Espirito Santo trophy and Asia’s Queen Sirikit Cup.

Lee, whose goal is to turn professional and play on the Japanese LPGA Tour, turned in an impressive 4-under 32.

But her round really took off when she made six birdies in seven holes from the 12th to come home in 7-under 31.

It’s eye-popping golf, by any standard.

And when you consider Lee is the eighth-ranked Korean in the world standings, it’s hard to comprehend the depth of talent being produced by our northern neighbors.

For the record, world No. 4 Hye-jin Choi fired a 5-under 68 to sit T2, while reigning US Amateur and US Girls’ Amateur – yes, both – and world No. 11 Eun Jeong Seong signed for a 4-under 69.

Ga-Young Lee's scorecard

Results: Australian Women's Amateur
WinKoreaHye-Jin ChoiKorea1000
Runner-upKoreaSo-mi LeeKorea700
SemifinalsAustraliaKaris DavidsonAustralia500
SemifinalsKoreaHyun-Kyung ParkKorea500
QuarterfinalsKoreaSeo-yun KwonKorea400

View full results for Australian Women's Amateur

ABOUT THE Australian Women's Amateur

The Australian Women's Amateur Championship is contested over 36-holes stroke play qualifying, with the leading 32 players progressing to elimination match play. It is open to players of all ages with an initial field size of 72 players.

It was first played in 1894 and past winners include touring professionals Nikki Campbell, Sarah Oh and Kristie Smith.

View Complete Tournament Information

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