Min Woo Lee leads Vic Open golf

Australian golfer Min Woo Lee will take a three-stroke lead over Marcus Fraser and Travis Smyth into the final round of the Vic Open at 13th Beach.

MIN WOO LEE.
MIN WOO LEE. Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Australian golfer Min Woo Lee is ideally placed to create golfing history by emulating his celebrated sister Minjee as a Vic Open golf champion after taming brutal conditions at 13th Beach.

With strong winds gusting over 60km/h on Saturday at the links layout, Lee finished his third round of four-under-par 68 in brilliant style by eagling the final hole.

He ended the day at 15-under 201, three strokes clear of countrymen Marcus Fraser (69) and Travis Smyth (72).

Not to be overshadowed by her younger brother, Minjee stayed in contention for a third women's Vic Open crown.

She was in seventh spot with one round to play, five shots adrift of South Korean teenager Ayean Cho.

But it was Min Woo Lee, 21, who had family bragging rights, for 24 hours at least.

"I've probably never played a better round and another one of them should do the job tomorrow," said Lee.

"But it's another day and I'm looking forward to the challenge.

"My sister has won here twice (in 2014 and 2018).

"It would be one of the only tournaments that a brother and sister have won so that would be cool."

Lee put a three-stroke gap on his nearest challengers with a remarkable eagle at the par-5 18th.

With the howling gale at his back, he smashed a two-iron 343 metres off the tee and hit his approach shot pin high, before nailing a four-metre putt.

Fraser described the conditions as "borderline unplayable" after rocketing up the leaderboard with a three-under 69.

Fraser, 41, has won three times on the European Tour during his long professional career.

But he's never experienced anything quite like what 13th Beach served up on Saturday.

"My old man plays off 14, he's a good golfer and I think he would have struggled to break 110 out there," said Fraser.

"I think that's as strong a wind as I've played in anywhere.

"If they hadn't slowed up the greens, I think it would be unplayable, but they've done a great job of putting the pins in the right spots and slowing the greens down."

The New South Welshman drew on all his experience to stay focused, as the late starters had to battle the worst of the weather.

"You just remind yourself that you've played golf for a long time and you know what to do," he said.

"One of the first lessons I ever got taught was that the wind is your friend and don't try and fight it."

The other two big movers on Saturday were Anthony Quayle (67) and Matthew Millar (68).

They made the most of early tee times to move into a tie for fourth at 10 under, with fellow Australian Ashley Hall (71) and second-round leader Robin Sciot-Siegrist from France (76).


AAP