Minjee Lee is back at the pristine scene of one of her greatest days – her blistering finish to come from seven shots back and win her first major in France two years ago – but she sees the Amundi Evian Championship this week as a “different challenge”.
That’s because the wind has been up around the Evian Resort Golf Club near Evian-les-Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva, and recent rains have left the course soft and the rough gnarly.
“The greens are rolling really nice,” Lee told lpga.com today. “The rough is up, which will be a bit of a challenge for us.”
Asked for the keys to playing well at Evian, the Australian said: “Definitely keeping it on the fairway. Some of the tee shots are quite tight. Your drives and your woods off the tee will be important this week, and obviously if you putt well, it’s going to help.”
Lee is a two-time major winner after her 2022 US Women’s Open triumph and in truth, has had trouble coming back to her best form since what could yet amount to her best-ever victory in July last year.
She has not won since which amounts to a drought by her own incredibly high standards, and at least some of that can be attributed to issues on the putting green in 2023.
She ranks 30th in putts per green in regulation on tour, and 125th in putting average. While the second number is not a statistic that she will ever be prominent in – since it skews against great ball-strikers – her work with the short stick has been a considerable concern, especially in close.
“I’m always working on something,” she said. “I’ve been working on my putting a little bit, probably more than my ball-striking which has been pretty solid. Hopefully I can get my putter hot this week.”
World No.7 Lee finds herself in a marquee group for Round 1 with Nelly Korda and Rose Zhang, teeing off at 4.27pm Thursday AEST.
She hopes that the memories come flooding back for her.
“Obviously I was out on the golf course (today), and I was thinking about what I was doing here and there when I won, but it’s different conditions. It’s a little windier. I think it’s a different challenge than when I won, a different experience but I’m ready for a good week.”
The Perth superstar is one of six Australians chasing a major in France this week, with the season’s final major – the AIG Women’s Open in the UK – just a fortnight away as well.
Round 1 tee times AEST
Amundi Evian Championship
Evian Resort Golf Club, Evian-les-Bains, France
3.51pm Hannah Green, Cheyenne Knight, Amy Yang
4.27pm* Nelly Korda, Minjee Lee, Rose Zhang
4.51pm* Sarah Kemp, Valentina Rossi (a), Miyu Yamashita
8.15pm Manon De Roey, Stephanie Kyriacou, Ana Pelaez Trivino
9.03pm Eun-Hee Ji, Ariya Jutanugarn, Grace Kim
9.03pm* In Gee Chun, Nasa Hataoka, Lydia Ko (NZ)
10.15pm Karis Davidson, Caroline Inglis, Jeongeun Lee6
Defending champion: Brooke Henderson
Past Aussie winners: Rachel Hetherington (2001), Wendy Doolan (2004), Karrie Webb (2006), Minjee Lee (2021)
TV times: Live 7pm-10pm Thursday on Fox Sports 503, Live 11.30pm-2.30am Thursday on Fox Sports 506; Live 7pm-10pm Friday on Fox Sports 503, Live 11.30pm-2am Friday on Fox Sports 507; Live 10pm-1am Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7.30pm-1am Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.