• Aussies on Tour: Lee’s major targets on eve of 2024 debut

More majors and an Olympic medal are Minjee Lee’s primary focus as she makes her 2024 debut at this week’s HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

A two-time runner up at Sentosa Golf Club, Lee starts the year as the No.5-ranked player in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking thanks in no small part to her blistering finish to her 2023 campaign.

After an uncharacteristically slow start to her year, in her last seven starts to 2023 Lee won the Kroger Queen City Championship and the BMW Ladies Championship, was runner-up at the Hana Financial Group Championship and Women’s Australian Open and had top-10 finishes at the Aramco Team Series – Riyadh and the CME Group Tour Championship.

It was a dramatic form reversal that the 27-year-old hopes to carry into a 2024 campaign ripe with opportunity.

“I didn’t really have the quick start to the year last year,” Lee conceded.

“It was really nice to finish off with some confidence and a couple wins there and some good finishes.

“Hopefully I can keep the good momentum going into the start of this year and the rest of the year.”

Now a two-time major winner and with 10 career wins on the LPGA Tour, Lee’s resume is on a trajectory that will be LPGA Hall of Fame worthy by the time she finishes.

With five majors on the line again in 2024 along with a third Olympic campaign in Paris, Lee may never have a greater opportunity to have the year of her life.

“Obviously it’s a big year with the Olympics and all the majors,” said Lee, the only Australian golfer to compete at both the Rio and Tokyo Olympics.

“They are always on the top of my priority list, I guess. Always want to be playing well in those and contending.”

As for her outstanding record at Sentosa Golf Club, Lee believes the challenge of the golf course plays to her greatest strength.

“I definitely think ball-striking is a big thing out here,” said Lee, who has been drawn to play with New Zealand’s Lydio Ko and last week’s winner, Patty Tavatanakit.

“You want to hit the fairways, hit the greens and you’ll have good chances with birdies.

“That is a big key around the course.”

It shapes as a big week, too, for Minjee’s younger brother, Min Woo Lee.

Lee and Aaron Baddeley are the only two Aussies in the field for the PGA TOUR’s Cognizant Classic at PGA National, Lee now second behind Jason Day as leading Aussies on the Official World Golf Ranking.

The Olympic team will not be named until June but having moved past Cameron Smith (45), Lee – currently 42nd – can advance his cause further with a strong showing in Florida.

Smith will once again lead Ripper GC at this week’s LIV Golf event in Saudi Arabia while three-time PGA Tour of Australasia winner, Tom Power Horan, joins the Aussie contingent at this week’s Argentina Open on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty images

Round 1 tee times AEDT

HSBC Women’s World Championship
Sentosa Golf Club (Tanjong Cse), Singapore
11:25am*         Aditi Ashok, Hannah Green, Andrea Lee
11:44am          Esther Henseleit, Sarah Kemp, Lim Kim
12:25pm*         Carlota Ciganda, Grace Kim, Miranda Wang
1:13pm*          Eun-Hee Ji, Stephanie Kyriacou, Azahara Munoz
1:20pm            Lydia Ko (NZ), Minjee Lee, Patty Tavatanakit

Defending champion: Jin Young Ko
Past Aussie winners: Karrie Webb (2011)
Prize money: $US1.8 million
TV times: Live 1:30pm-6:30pm Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo.

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