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Lee looking to emulate Park


Australian aims to follow example of 2015 Champion

Minjee Lee in action on day three of the AIG Women

Minjee Lee will look to draw on her memories of watching Inbee Park win the AIG Women’s Open when she goes out in the final group at Royal Troon on Sunday.

Lee played alongside Park in the fourth round at nearby Turnberry in 2015, when the South Korean stormed to victory with a magnificent final-round 65.

On that occasion, Park began the final day trailing by three strokes, the same deficit Lee will be trying to make up on Sophia Popov this time around.

The weather forecast suggests a largely calm day is in prospect at the end of a blustery week, meaning scoring could well be low as the chasing pack aim to catch Popov.

“I got to play with Inbee when she won, so I feel like that really gave me a lot of experience in terms of just being aggressive and just being able to perform in those conditions, as well,” said Lee.

“I feel like I could draw a couple things away from just the experiences that I've had before.

“I can maybe play a little bit more aggressively if the wind doesn't blow as much.”

World number eight Lee has been a consistent presence on recent AIG Women’s Open leaderboards, recording finishes of ninth, 10th and 11th in the last five years.

However, her love of links golf meant she was even able to take great enjoyment from a tricky debut in the championship, which saw her miss the cut at Royal Birkdale in 2014.

“That was a tough week. I missed the cut, but I think I hit it in like every single bunker and that's pretty much all I can remember,” said Lee. “I remember it being a really tough week, but I really enjoyed playing links golf even though I didn't play very well that week.

“I just really love the challenge of the wind and just the lay of the land. It's just lovely to look at the ocean. I just really enjoy playing links golf.”

Plenty of Australian golf fans will be cheering for Lee on Sunday when the Perth native seeks her first major crown.

“I always get amazing support from everybody back home,” she added. “I think a lot of Australian fans are always behind me and always want me to perform well.

“So I just feel very fortunate that I've got such a great fan base and, yeah, I do think a lot of people will be rooting for me.”

Jasmine Suwannapura will also start the final day at one under, alongside Lee, and the Thai plans to take her mind off golf ahead of playing in the penultimate group on Sunday.

“Right now, I'm playing Call of Duty every day maybe. So after this, I'm probably going to go back to the hotel, chill and eat, and then Call of Duty and bed,” said Suwannapura.

“A lot of players and caddies on the tour play Call of Duty. We talk about it. It’s funny to be out here and talking about games.”

Suwannapura is focused on remaining relaxed despite the potentially life-changing prize that is within her grasp.

“I don't really want to pressure myself, just try to treat it like a normal tournament or a normal round of golf tomorrow,” she added.

“I’ll just play my own game and we'll see the result come out. Just have fun with golf.”