Golf-Lee holds off Hoshino to claim Australian PGA Championship title


  • Golf
  • Sunday, 26 Nov 2023

(Reuters) - Min Woo Lee overcame an early wobble to win the Australian PGA Championship by three shots from Rikuya Hoshino on Sunday with a final-round 68, earning the West Australian the title at Royal Queensland.

Lee ended the tournament on 20-under-par to claim the trophy for the first time, with Hoshino second and Marc Leishman climbing up to take third after a seven-under-par final round.

"I made it interesting early on and through the middle but I ended up hanging on and I'm really proud," he said.

"Rikuya's a really good player and he kept knocking on the door, but it was exactly the same as my last win, my playing partner just kept coming so I knew I needed to keep playing well and do my thing.

"I did, I'm really proud how I made some up-and-downs and some putts."

Hoshino trailed by three shots after the penultimate round but pulled level when Lee, who started the day on 17-under, bogeyed the first and the Japanese golfer picked up birdies at the second and third holes.

Lee responded in impressive fashion, however, embarking on a strong run over the rest of the front nine.

Three birdies in four holes were followed by an eagle at the ninth, when Lee chipped in from well off the green to pick up another two strokes and put himself in a commanding position.

His grip on the lead was loosened slightly by a dropped shot at the par-four 10th and, while a birdie at the 12th saw him reclaim that lost stroke, another bogey at the 14th ensured his lead remained at three going into the final holes.

Lee put the result beyond doubt at the 15th when he pitched his third shot to within a foot at the par-five, his successful birdie putt giving him an unassailable lead.

Hoshino sealed second by going three-under-par on the final round while Leishman charged through the field with a course record-equalling 63, including a lengthy birdie putt on the 18th hole, to take third.

(Reporting by Michael Church; Editing by Editing by William Mallard)

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