Leading Australian golfer Minjee Lee starts her season in 2019 as the 2018 Greg Norman Medallist, an honour that cements her place among the best Australians on the world stage.

Returning to Australia for the start of the season, Lee joins the field at this week’s ISPS HANDA Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links for what will be her first tournament since receiving the prestigious honour last November.

Awarded to the best male or female Australian Tour Professional on the international stage determined by annual success, Lee is the first female to win the award since its inception in 2015.

“Yeah, it’s definitely a great honour,” said Lee.

“It was really special for me, being the first female to be able to win this award.

“It’s obviously a great honour to me just to represent women and to be rewarded for my play last year.”

Lee’s season was the best of both the male and female Australian contingent playing around the world in 2018, which included tournament wins at the Vic Open and LPGA Volvik Championship at Travis Pointe Country Club Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“I had a really nice year last year. I won twice and I think I had a couple of seconds so yeah; it was a really good year,” added this week’s defending champion.

“I had a lot of fun playing and hopefully this year is going to be even better.

Currently ranked sixth in the world, Minjee believes a more process-orientated approach to her game will help her become a better player in 2019.

“I try not to put a number on the rankings.

“I think closer to obviously the World No. 1 spot, I think you can play more with your process goals.

“Then those, if you hit them, then I think you’ll eventually get closer to that World No. 1 spot.

“I’m obviously always going to work hard to be my best and to always try and make my goals that I make for myself so hopefully I can, someday in the near future, win this award again.”

Growing up watching the Australian golfing greats, Lee’s name is now synonymous with Australia’s best including previous award winners Jason Day (2015 and 2016) and Marc Leishman (2017).

“I don’t know if I’m technically better than all of them, but it’s pretty cool to have the honour of being the Greg Norman medalist.

“I know those guys are really great athletes as well, so it’s cool to be among their names.”

Despite the accolade, Lee insists the event on home soil will add no extra pressure as she looks forward to approaching the ISPS HANDA Vic Open tournament like any other on her calendar.

“The Vic Open has always been a special tournament to come back to and obviously to play,” Lee added.

“Yeah, I always love coming and playing in Australia, so Vic Open and obviously Aussie Open are really big events for me. I always come into every event treating it pretty much all the same.

“I just try and play my own game and I don’t really think ‑‑ think too much about it or try to put too much expectation on myself.”

Lee tees off at the ISPS HANDA Vic Open at 13th Beach Golf Links on Thursday 7 February 2019.