Aussie golfers eye major redemption at Women’s PGA

Minjee Lee and Grace Kim will be eyeing redemption as the flurry of women’s golf majors continues at the PGA Championship in Washington.

Two-time major winner Lee and 2019 PGA champion Hannah Green will spearhead a seven-strong Australian challenge days after being confirmed as Paris Olympic teammates.

Kim, LPGA Tour rookie-of-the-year points leader Gabriela Ruffels, Steph Kyriacou and championship debutantes Hira Naveed and Robyn Choi are also teeing it up at Sahalee Country Club near Seattle from Thursday.

Lee is looking to rebound from missing the cut at last week’s Meijer Classic in Michigan in the world No.10’s first tournament since blowing a three-shot final-round lead at the US Open, the richest event in women’s golf.

She has been thrust into a marquee grouping alongside world No.2 Lilia Vu and exciting young Swede Linn Grant for the opening two rounds.

Vu is fresh off breaking Kim’s heart in a tense play-off on Sunday after the Australian squandered the biggest third-round lead of the year, a five-stroke advantage that was wiped away inside four holes.

Kim produced a spirited fightback to even make the playoff, but only time will tell how the 23-year-old responds to a second big disappointment in two months.

The Sydneysider also let a four-shot halfway lead slip at the LA Championship in April, when Green cashed in to claim her second victory of the year – and third in 13 months.

Green has climbed to fifth in the rankings, the only player other than world No.1 Nelly Korda to register multiple victories in 2024.

Chasing a remarkable seventh win, and second major, of the season after taking out the Chevron Championship, Korda has warned she won’t be backing off despite the shock of missing the cut in her past two events.

“(I’m) still going to be aggressive,” Korda said on Wednesday.

“There’s a couple of holes where I can’t hit driver, but majority of the round I will be hitting driver just because you don’t want a longer club into these greens.

“The tee shots are pretty intimidating, but the greens, the second shot in is pretty tough as well.

“So overall, if you have the length … this is the type of golf course where you just got to sack up and hit your driver.”

The course is a “completely different” test in Korda’s eyes than Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania, where she missed the US Open cut and Lee crumbled after still leading by two shots entering the back nine on championship Sunday.

“If you hit it a little off line here off the tee, you have a bunch of trees in your way so you’re pitching out the majority of the time,” Korda said.

“I’m just trying to make a game plan for this week, and every week is just a refresh.

“It’s a really beautiful golf course as well. You kind of get lost in the nature out here.”

This will be the second time this major championship will be played at Sahalee, with Canadian Brooke Henderson winning at the venue in 2016.


Darren Walton
(Australian Associated Press)


Like This