L-R Su Hyun Oh, Shani Waugh, Grace Lennon and Minjee Lee
It is hard to believe that a year has passed since the Queen Sirikit Cup was played in Singapore where the Australian Team of Bre Elliott, Whitney Hillier and Su Hyun Oh finished 3rd, 1 stroke behind New Zealand and a whopping 26 behind winners South Korea.
Plenty of water has flowed under the bridge since then, most notably a tie for 3rd at the World Amateur Team Championship this time only 4 shots behind the same Korean team and the 3 Koreans have all since turned pro.
Australia are not without our own share of top-liners turning pro with Bre and Whitney both taking the plunge late last year. We have regained Minjee Lee (who was unavailable last year due to a broken ankle) so she joins Su Hyun and Grace Lennon to make up this years team. To say these three girls are far and away the best performed amateurs in Australia the last few months is an understatement. Take a look at this...
Grace Lennon (World Ranking 16) - Tied for 11th and Leading Amateur Victorian Open, Won Riversdale Cup
Su Hyun Oh (World Ranking 4) - Tied 2nd Volvik Australian Ladies Masters , 9th ISPS Handa NZ Open, 28th ISPS Handa Women's Aust Open
Minjee Lee (World Ranking 2) - Australian Girls Amateur Champion, Women's SA Strokeplay Champion (by 20 strokes), 2012 US Girls Champion
The team imitates Adam Scott's winning posture from the recent Masters. Picture: the girls with team captain, Matt Cutler.
The team has completed their 2 practise rounds here at Sunrise Golf and Country Club in Taiwan. The course sets up well for these 3 strong hitters and as long as they putt well will be fighting it out for the title. I'm predicting some good scoring and team Captain, Matt Cutler, and I agree that a team score of around -15 will be required. The format is the best 2 scores each day out of the 3 go towards the team total at the end of the 3 rounds.
Today I challenged the girls to lots of little comps before, during and after the round to sharpen their focus on getting the ball into the cup. On each hole I asked them to all putt from the same spot and points were ONLY given for putts holed. This produced healthy competition and all three were very professional in their approach. I promised them that I would make mention of the winner in my Coaches Report so Minjee here it is! :)
Matt and I have both made comment on how focused the girls are already this week - it started when we pulled up to the hotel Sunday night - and they have been building nicely since then. It received a further boost today during the Opening Ceremony when it was announced that the Individual winner this week gets a start in the LPGA event played here at Sunrise in October.
Team-wise I am pretty sure Su, Grace and Minjee will not be happy with anything other than the win this week!
Shani Waugh - Team Coach
ALPG member and president
Queen Sirikit Cup starts today, 17th April and finishes on 19th April.