(Reuters) – Defending champion Minjee Lee of Australia enters this week’s Amundi Evian Championship in France in top form and without the pressure she carried on her shoulders a year ago before winning the first major of her career.
Lee secured her breakthrough major victory at last year’s Evian Championship where she began the final round seven shots back but fired a closing 64 and then beat overnight leader Jeongeun Lee6 in a sudden-death playoff to secure the win.
“It was my first major win and there was quite a lot of pressure put on me to win a major after so many years on tour,” she told reporters on Wednesday at Evian Resort Golf Club.
“It was just a great confidence boost for me after that win. I was able to have a good year last year and then bring it into this year.”
World number two Lee has definitely carried that form and confidence into the current season and arrives at the year’s penultimate major as perhaps the hottest player on the planet.
After finishing 12th at the Chevron Championship, Lee won the U.S. Women’s Open last month with a four-stroke victory and followed that up with a joint runner-up finish at the Women’s PGA Championship.
Lee enters the week at Evian-les-Bains with a combined score to par in the majors of -24, which is 13 shots better than any other player this year.
“I feel like I’m in a really good place with my game. Mentally I’m in a good place as well,” said Lee.
“I feel like everything is kind of coming together really well. I really worked hard for all of this, so I’m going to keep working hard and hopefully keeps paying off.”
Lee will play the first two rounds alongside world number nine Jennifer Kupcho and number 11 Chun In-gee of South Korea.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Toby Davis)