Mi ready for unique experience
Mi Hyang Lee will tee off at this weekend's Toto Japan Classic as the defending champion of an LPGA Tour event for the first time in her career.
The Korean golfer won last year's event under its former guise, the Mizuno Classic, after triumphing over compatriot Ilhee Lee and Japan's Kotono Kozuma in a play-off.
"I’m trying to not think of being defending champion," she admitted to the LPGA website.
"A lot of people say congratulations defending champ and welcome back. It’s a little pressure but not much. I’m just trying to play my game. Last week, my play was a little bad so I’m trying to do my best this week. I want to play better than last week."
Even though she is trying to avoid thinking of playing the tournament as the defending champion, the Kintestsu Kashikojima Country Club is littered with reminders of her triumph there in 2014.
"When I saw my victory picture next to the player dining room it was great," Mi continued.
"When I got to the 18th hole teeing ground it felt strange because I can remember everything. When I walked the 18th holes it feels like I can remember everything from last year. I remember all of the good things."
It comes as no surprise that Mi remembers the 18th hole fondly, as that was the fifth and final hole of last year's playoff where she tapped for birdie from close range to win her maiden LPGA title.
"On the third playoff hole when we made every birdie putt" she recalled.
"That moment is the best of the best. Maybe one of the best moments of my life."
On the first two playoff holes, all three players notched pars, while all three made birdies on the third hole. On the fourth hole, three pars were once again the result, before Mi's accurate approach from 190-yards set up the easy birdie putt.
"Last year I putted really good so the key point for me is good putting," Mi concluded.
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