ISPS Handa Vic Open: Min Woo Lee wins to emulate sister

Min Woo Lee: Three shots clear

Min Woo Lee held his nerve to win his first European Tour title and emulate his sister at the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

Day four report

Min Woo Lee held his nerve to win his first European Tour title and emulate his sister at the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

The 21-year-old Australian fought off a strong challenge from New Zealander Ryan Fox to win by two shots in Geelong.

Fox carded a remarkable closing 64 in the high winds to set a testing clubhouse target, but Lee signed for a 68 to follow in the footsteps of sister Minjee at the Beach Course Club.

The elder sibling won the women's event as an amateur in 2014 and lifted the trophy again as a professional in 2018.

"My sister and I winning the same tournament, it's pretty special," Lee told the European Tour's website.

"I've got bragging rights now so it's even better.

"It's awesome. Vic Open, it's the home open. Especially as it's the European Tour, it's big."

Lee entered the day with a three-shot lead and was boosted by chipping in for a birdie at the first.

Fox's charge put him under pressure and a bogey at the 17th meant he only took a one-shot lead down the last.

But he birdied the par-five 18th to finish at 19 under. Runner-up Fox was three shots clear of Australian pair Marcus Fraser and Travis Smyth and Frenchman Robin Sciot-Siegrist, who tied for third.

England's Sam Horsfield finished in a tie for seventh with a closing 67.

Park Hee-young beat fellow South Korean Choi Hye-jin at the fourth play-off hole to win the women's trophy.

Day three report

Australia's Min Woo Lee will take a three-shot lead into the final day of the ISPS Handa Vic Open after carding an impressive 68.

The 21-year-old completed a fine round in high winds at the Beach Course Club with a closing eagle to move to 15 under par for the tournament.

He holds a comfortable cushion over Marcus Fraser and Travis Smyth, who are tied for second.

French European Tour rookie Robin Sciot-Siegrist, who led after the second round, is five shots off the lead.

England's Matthew Jordan is one shot further back, while Northern Ireland's Jonathan Caldwell is in a tie for 38th, 10 shots off the pace.

"It was probably one of the best rounds I've ever played regardless of the score," Min Woo told the European Tour website as he bids to seal his maiden professional title on home soil.

"I've hit it pretty solid. There were a couple of shots that were bad but that happens in 50-kilometre winds so I'm pretty happy and should be proud of the way I played."

Min Woo's sister, Minjee, a two-time winner of the tournament, was five shots behind 54-hole leader Ayean Cho in the women's event.

A disappointing third round left Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow tied for eighth, six shots off the lead.

Day two report

Robin Sciot-Siegrist will take a two-shot lead into the weekend at the ISPS Handa Vic Open after carding a 64 on day two.

The French European Tour rookie was blemish-free over the Creek Course at 13th Beach Golf Club to move to 14 under and lead the way from Australian Travis Smyth.

Home favourites dominated the upper reaches of the leaderboard, with amateur Jed Morgan, Matthew Griffin, Min Woo Lee and Jake McLeod all at 11 under.

Sciot-Siegrist led by three at one point after birdies on the 10th, 11th, 14th, 17th, first, second fifth and seventh but Smyth trimmed his advantage.

"It was a great round," the leader told europeantour.com. "It was similar to yesterday, I played really good golf and putted really well. Overall just a very nice round and everything is going great.

"In general, I don't have many expectations. I'm just trying to do my job, like really do what I need to do on the course and during practice rounds and everything. When I'm playing, obviously there's pressure and everything, but I'm just trying to do my best and we'll see at the end."

Northern Ireland's Jonathan Caldwell was in the group at 10 under alongside 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy, two shots ahead of England's Ashley Chesters.

Defending champion David Law missed the cut by one shot after the Scot signed for rounds of 68 and 72 and so did his compatriot Connor Syme.

In the women's event, Swede Madelene Sagstrom fired a 67 to lead the way at 13 under, one shot clear of America's Ally McDonald.

Sagstrom won her first LPGA Tour title last time in Florida and is seeking a quickfire double in Melbourne.

Day one report

Spain's Alejandro Canizares pulled no punches in describing his previous poor form after claiming a surprise lead in the ISPS Handa Vic Open.

Canizares has had to return to the qualifying school to keep his European Tour card for the past two seasons and has recorded just two top-10 finishes in the last three years.

The 37-year-old is ranked a lowly 788th in the world but insists he remains fully motivated after carding 10 birdies and a solitary bogey in an opening 63 at 13th Beach Golf Club.

"It was a great round," Canizares said. "I putted really well, I hit the ball well as well, I don't think I missed many greens. It was one of those days where you saw the hole pretty big.

"I didn't have many expectations because it's a long way from home so you don't know how you're going to feel but I was hitting the ball well, I'm working on the right things.

"I'm just surprised I've played so bad the last three years more so than today. It's been complicated; I got injured three years ago and it took a while. I became a dad a year ago, life changes.

"I'm getting back to it, I'm starting to work hard on it and I'm still motivated. I've been on Tour for 13 or 14 years and I still want to do it. I've still got half of my career ahead of me."

Canizares, put up at 125/1 by Sporting Life's golf expert Ben Coley, enjoyed a two-shot lead over the home quartet of Matthew Griffin, Travis Smyth, Justin Warren and Jake McLeod, with defending champion David Law five shots off the pace following a 68.

The tournament is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and LPGA and features men and women playing on the same courses at the same time, for equal prize money.

In the women's event, Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom and South Korea's Haeji Kang share the lead on eight under par, with Dame Laura Davies two shots behind following a 67 which included eight birdies and two bogeys.

Davies was playing her first competitive round since August 2019 and the 56-year-old was delighted with the result.

"My mum wasn't very well and I just stayed at home with her," Davies said. "Just kept entering tournaments and had to withdraw, withdraw because she wasn't getting any better.

"It just worked out that I had six months off and now I turn up here not knowing what I'm doing. I've been on Tour 35 years and I didn't have a clue what to do. It was a bit weird, but a good result."

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