Min Woo heads Down Under on top of the world
Min Woo Lee is heading home ‘proud’ of his efforts after a fourth full season on the DP World Tour.
Lee, 24, birdied the closing hole for a second day running in a three-under 679 for a seven-under tally and a share of 12th place at the year-ending DP World Tour Championship here on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Estates.
Min Woo Lee (Credit: PGA Tour)
The effort handed the Perth golfer an eventual season-ending 34th place on the DP World Tour money-list in what was the DP World Tour’s 50th year anniversary.
A slight disappointment for Lee was finishing four places shy in securing an automatic tee-time into next year’s 151st Open Championship at Royal Liverpool but in currently lying at 61st on the Official World Rankings there’s a strong chance the young Aussie could find himself inside the top-50 by next July.
Of course, Lee brilliantly capped his season with a T14 at the Masters, an effort that saw him finish just two places shy of an automatic 2023 Augusta tee time for finishing inside the top-12 and then again, if he’s inside the top-50 as at December 31st there is his automatic invitation back to Augusta National.
“The Masters was definitely the highlight of my year, as that was wonderful to play all four rounds and I was excited to finish where I did,” he said.
Lee contested just 14 DP World Tour events this season, also splitting his time between the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours.
Among his best finishes on the DP World Tour were back-to-back third place results late in the season including the first when he paired with eventual champion Jon Rahm at the Spanish Open.
Lee kept that form going to share eighth place a week later at the Nedbank Challenge and then wound-up in Dubai with a great share of 12th in the season-closing DP World Tour Championship.
“It’s been an amazing last handful of events for me on the DP World Tour, and it would have been amazing to finish top-10 but then a share of 12th is a pretty good result in a world-class field,” he said.
“Looking back it’s been great to post three top-10s in my last four events, so it’s been great to finish the DP World season on a high note and before that…well I did well in the majors which is key but I did not finish well in the normal tournaments I contested.
“Career-wise, I feel as though I am getting stronger with every ‘stat’ across the board as I am driving the ball better while my approach game probably needs a bit more help but it’s trending in the right direction while putting and chipping are really good.”
“Across the board, everything has got a little bit tighter and especially mentally as I have got along a bit better and I’ve let affect me too much.”
“So, I’m happy to leave Dubai on a high note and look forward to the flight home to Australia and teeing-up in the Aussie PGA and Aussie Open.”
He teed-up in a dozen PGA Tour events from early February though to the new co-sanctioned Scottish Open in July, that he was defending, to the following week’s 150th Open at St. Andrews.
Though it was a disappointing spell competing on the world’s biggest tour, missing the halfway cut in all but four tournaments, though remarkably three of those were in the majors with a best result of 14th on debut at the Masters, 27th also in a maiden US Open and then a share of 21st in a second straight Open Championship.
Lee also found his way onto the Korn Ferry tour where he contested three events from late August to early September, making the cut in one.
Now after criss-crossing the Atlantic Ocean for much of his year, the double DP World Tour winner is heading Down Under for the two co-sanctioned events, the Fortinet Australian PGA Championship at the famed Royal Queensland and the ISPS Handa Australian Open in Victoria.
“I’m excited to be getting back home and playing in front of an Aussie crowd and as I said, I’m going to be teeing-up in both events with a real spring in my step given four top-10s in my last four tournaments,” he said.
“And who’s to say what may happen as to win either the PGA or the Aussie Open would be the real icing on my good season cake.”