One Brazilian golfer will represent the host nation in the 2016 Olympic Games and Symetra Tour professional Luciane Lee of Sao Paulo, Brazil is hoping that she moves up the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings to earn the automatic spot as the top ranked golfer representing Brazil. On Tuesday, Lee was one of nine professionals that got the opportunity to play the Aquece Rio Test Event for the Rio 2016 Olympics
Lee is currently the fourth highest rated golfer from Brazil behind Miriam Nagl, Victoria Lovelady and Candy Hannemann. She is now more determined than ever to try to earn her way into the Olympics.
As a rookie on the Symetra Tour in 2015, she finished 67th on the money list with one top 10 finish. Lee played her college golf at UC Irvine.
We caught up with Lee via email to get her thoughts on playing in the test run for the Olympics and the dream of representing her home country. She also discusses competing in the Olympics alongside her brother, PGA TOUR player Lucas Lee.
Q: What was the experience like getting to play the course?
Luciane: I think the experience was definitely one I will remember for the rest of my life. It is a day I will never be able to forget. The course was in great shape and it definitely exceeded all of my expectations. The conditions, from the greens to the fairways, and everything about the course were impeccable. And just the fact that I am able to say that I was one of the first ones to play on that course definitely made yesterday a very special day.
Q: How’d did you play?
Luciane: I had a rough start in the beginning of my round yesterday because I was so nervous with all the media and attention around us. I am definitely not used to being surrounded by news reporters and spectators as much as we had that day. It also made it hard that we were not able to play a practice round because I kept getting in all kinds of trouble I had no idea were present. Besides the results, I had a blast, and just tried to enjoy the moment.
Q: It looks like you guys got to take a picture with the medals? Is that right?
Luciane: Yes, all nine of us received a gold medal for participating in the event.
Q: How badly do you want to qualify now?
Luciane: I want this very badly. I think now that I got to get a glimpse of what it will be like to play in August I want it even more now. I don't have much time to improve my rankings but it's time to grind it out and work hard until August comes along. And I want it even more because it is my dream to be able to play in the Olympics alongside my brother.
Q: Are you playing a full Symetra season pre-Olympics?
Luciane: Yes, I am planning on playing all the tournaments on Symetra (Tour) in order to help me with my rankings. I am also going to work on qualifying and trying to get into some LPGA events.
Q: How does your game feel right now?
Luciane: My game is getting back into shape. I think this offseason was quite long for me, and not having competed in a while definitely did not help. But I think I am ready to start the season so that I can get back on track.