December 20, 2018 / 9:17 PM / 2 years ago

Jutanugarn, Lee to renew rivalry in Australia

FILE PHOTO: Nov 16, 2018; Naples, FL, USA; Ariya Jutanugarn tees off during a hole during the second round of the CME Group Tour Championship at the Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort. Mandatory Credit: Andrew West/The News-Press via USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2019 LPGA season promises early excitement with world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn and rival Minjee Lee set to clash at the Women’s Australian Open championship from Feb. 14-17.

Both players confirmed entry in the tournament at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide, the Australian Golf Digest reported Thursday.

Thailand’s Jutanugarn, 23, was the LPGA Tour Rolex Player of the Year, the money list winner and CME Globe champion in 2018.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Australia to play and I’ve had a great time in Adelaide the past couple of years, so I can’t wait to come back in February and get my 2019 started,” said Jutanugarn, whose sister Moriya has also committed to the event.

A native of Perth, Australia, the 22-year-old Lee is remarkably competing in her eighth Women’s Australian Open. She has three top-10 finishes in the tourney, including shares of third and fifth place the past two years.

“I’ve come close a couple of times, so hopefully in February I can take that next step,” said Lee, ranked No. 6 in the world. “It’s always a huge thrill to play in front of the home crowds. ... I’ve had a solid 2018, so I’m really excited about starting 2019 with a bang at The Grange.”

—Field Level Media

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