Niemann and Buhai upstage Lee siblings to win Australian Open titles

Min Woo Lee was tied for lead in men’s event heading into final round, while Minjee Lee finished second in women’s

Joaquin Niemann defeated Rikuya Hoshino in a play-off to win the ISPS Handa Australian Open.

The pair finished level on 14 under par after 72 holes, with Chilean Niemann surging to the top of the leaderboard in Sydney after birdieing the 18th for a five-under round of 66.

Japan’s Hoshino, who had shared the overnight lead with Min Woo Lee, and Niemann both birdied the 18th to send the sudden death play-off to a second hole.

And, heading down the 18th again, Niemann played a brilliant second shot before holing his eagle putt, bettering Hoshino’s birdie to take the victory.


Australian Lee had led by three shots after the second round but he had to settle for third, two shots off Niemann and Hoshino, after carding a one over 72 on Sunday.

Former Masters champion Adam Scott, England’s Laurie Canter and Scot Grant Forrest finished tied for fourth one shot further back on 11 under.

Scott made eight birdies in his 68 but a costly triple bogey at seven after he went out of bounds ended his chances of challenging for the trophy.

“I was making a lot of birdies, had a couple of bogeys, and then unfortunately just a bad swing on the worst hole to do it probably,” said the 43-year-old on

“I paid the ultimate price there. It’s a shame because it would have been great to have a really special round and maybe have a chance sitting in the clubhouse.”

South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai retained the title in the women’s Australian Open, being played in parallel on the same course. She held off Australia’s Minjee Lee to win by a single stroke on nine-under despite shooting a three-over-par 75.

Minjee Lee, seven strokes back at the start of the day, got within a shot after Buhai went into the water at the 17th but the 2022 Women’s British Open champion held her nerve to claim the title with a par putt at the last.

“I’m so proud to defend my title,” said Buhai. “I knew they had to come catch me so I just played smart golf. Most of the crowd were supporting Minjee but it was a lot of fun out there.”