12 Jul 2023 | Professional golf |

Aussies on Tour: Lee primed for second Scottish fling

by Martin Blake

Min Woo Lee Scottish Open practice round
Champion two years ago, Min Woo Lee plays a practice round ahead of the 2023 Genesis Scottish Open. Photo: Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Min Woo Lee is back in familiar territory at The Renaissance Club in Scotland this week as he approaches some of the biggest moments of his young career.

Lee, 24, is playing the Genesis Scottish Open this week and the Open Championship next week at Royal Liverpool.

At No.47 in the world, he is one of the best young players on the circuit but his plan to take his golf to America on a more permanent basis is likely to come together over the next fortnight.

Lee has two ways in which he can earn PGA TOUR membership for 2024. One is by finishing in the top 10 on the DP World Tour points list (he’s currently fifth). The other is by earning enough FedEx Cup points in his starts on the US Tour to match the 125th player on tour after the Fall Series. Currently he has 385 points, which would rank him 103rd on tour now, clearly in a great position.

With both the Scottish Open and the Open Championship offering up FedEx Cup points and also counting towards the Race To Dubai on the DP World Tour, these are big weeks for the Perth star, who won the Scottish Open in 2021.

His 2023 season includes a top-five at the US Open, his best finish in a major, tied-sixth at THE PLAYERS and another top-10 at the Travelers Championship, results that have given him this chance to play his way on to the US Tour.

While the implications are big, he continues to focus on the present.

“I don’t care too much right now,” Lee said this week. “It’s in the back of my head, but it’s been like that since I turned pro. There’s been top-50 (ranking) stuff, getting into tournaments. I’ve got to play well here, play well there.

“Yes, I’m very close to getting my card. I’m in a pretty good position with both tours. I know I’m in a good place, but I need to crack on and play some good golf. I’m just going to go out and play. I know I’m close but not focusing on it too much.”

Lee has great memories of The Renaissance Club having made a blistering final-round charge to win in 2021. It is a return to links golf, a form of the sport that he loves.

“You can hit a lot of shots and that’s what I like to do,” he said. “It’s a playmaker’s course. You plot your way around. I like that kind of golf. It’s not just hitting driver every time. It’s important to golf your ball. It’s different, which is nice. It’s fun.”

He’s had a relaxing few days in the UK, spending time at the Ashes Test match in Leeds where his friend Mitch Marsh was a star for Australia in the Ashes.

“My first time at the Ashes,” Lee said. “Marshy’s batted unbelievable every time I’ve seen him. Saw him in Dubai at the T20 World Cup, and we won that, and he batted amazing and then the Big Bash.

“He might need to give me a ticket every time I’m nearby.

“It’s fun to watch the Ashes and see another athlete play another sport. You can pick each other’s brain and see what they do when times are stressful, and pretty much any time.”

Lee is one of six Australians in the field at The Renaissance Club this week, with three places in the Open Championship also on the line to the top three finishers who are not already exempt for Royal Liverpool.

Among those chasing a spot in the last men’s major of the year is Cam Davis, who is first alternate for Royal Liverpool at this point.

Currently there are 10 Australians in the field for The Open next week.

Round 1 tee times AEST

DP World Tour Genesis Scottish Open The Renaissance Club, North Berwick, Scotland 4.15pmDavid Law, Aaron Baddeley, Matthew Baldwin 4.26pm* Lucas Herbert, Thomas Detry, Richie Ramsay 4.37pmJorge Campillo, Harrison Endycott, Matthew Jordan 5.21pm* Sam Burns, Seamus Power, Min Woo Lee 5.32pmCam Davis, Thorbjørn Olesen, Adrian Otaegui 9.30pmCharley Hoffman, Padraig Harrington, Daniel Hillier (NZ) 10.03pm Max Homa, Adam Scott, Yannik Paul 11.09pm Corey Conners, Tom Hoge, Ryan Fox (NZ)

Defending champion: Xander Schauffele Past Aussie winners: Graham Marsh (1973), Craig Parry (1991), Peter O’Malley (1992), Wayne Riley (1995), Min Woo Lee (2021) TV times: Live 5pm-3.30am Thursday, Friday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7.30pm-10.30pm Saturday on Fox Sports 505; Live 10.30pm-5am Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7.30pm-5am Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

PGA TOUR Barbasol Championship Keene Trace Golf Club (Champions Cse), Nicholasville, Kentucky 9.51pmAustin Cook, Greg Chalmers, Louis de Jager 10.35pm Geoff Ogilvy, Bo Hoag, JC Ritchie 2.32amAdam Long, Cameron Percy, Daan Huizing 3.16amMatthias Schwab, Andrew Novak, Jason Scrivener

Defending champion: Trey Mullinax Past Aussie winners: Aaron Baddeley (2016) TV times: Live 6am-9am Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

LPGA Tour DANA Open Highland Meadows Golf Club, Sylvania, Ohio 9.20pm* Su Oh, Allison Emrey, Karis Davidson 10.37pm* Aditi Ashok, Sarah Kemp, Carlota Ciganda 11.05pm Ashli Bunch, Kiira Riihijarvi, Sarah Jane Smith 11.16pm Gabriela Ruffels, Tiffany Chan, Kum-Kang Park 2.59amPaula Creamer, Grace Kim, Stephanie Kyriacou 3.21amLydia Ko (NZ), Allisen Corpuz, Minjee Lee

Defending champion: Gaby Lopez Past Aussie winners: Rachel Hetherington (2002) TV times: Live 5.30am-8.30am Friday, Saturday; Live 6am-8am Sunday; Live 4am-7am Monday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo.

Ladies European Tour Aramco Team Series – London Centurion Club, England Australasians in the field: Whitney Hillier, Kirsten Rudgeley, Momoka Kobori (NZ)

Defending champion: Bronte Law Past Aussie winners: Nil TV times: Live 12am-4am Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 505; Live 10pm-2am Sunday on Fox Sports 507 and Kayo.

Korn Ferry Tour The Ascendant TPC Colorado, Berthoud, Colorado 10.52pm* Nicholas Lindheim, Steven Bowditch, Tim Widing 4.06am* Curtis Luck, John Rollins, Pontus Nyholm 4.17amRhein Gibson, Nelson Ledesma, Fabián Gómez 4.28amAndrew Kozan, Brett Drewitt, Dawson Armstrong

Defending champion: Zecheng Dou Past Aussie winners: Nil

PGA TOUR Champions Kaulig Companies Championship Firestone CC, Akron, Ohio 12.20am* Steve Stricker, Retief Goosen, Steven Alker (NZ) 12.41am* Dicky Pride, Scott Parel, Richard Green 12.52am Mark Hensby, Rod Pampling, Lee Janzen 1.02am* Brian Cooper, Dan Forsman, David McKenzie 1.34am* Stuart Appleby, Jeff Maggert, Chris DiMarco 2.16amJohn Huston, John Senden, Jeff Sluman

Defending champion: Jerry Kelly Past Aussie winners: Stewart Ginn (2002) TV times: Live 3.30am-6am Friday, Saturday on Fox Sports 503; Live 4am-6am Sunday on Fox Sports 505; 11.30am-1.30pm Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

Epson Tour Hartford Healthcare Women’s Championship Great River Golf Club, Milford, Connecticut Australasians in the field: Robyn Choi, Amelia Garvey (NZ), Hira Naveed, Cassie Porter

Defending champion: Inaugural event Past Aussie winners: Nil

Challenge Tour Euram Bank Open GC Adamstal, Ramsau, Austria 5.20pmFrancesco Laporta, Dylan Mostert, Ryan Ruffels 5.20pm* Stefano Mazzoli, Hayden Hopewell, Victor Garcia Broto 10.25pm* Jordan Zunic, Ondrej Lieser, Brandon Stone

Defending champion: Marc Hammer Past Aussie winners: Nil

PGA TOUR Canada Quebec Open Golf Chateau-Bromont, Bromont 10.20pm* David Kim, Taylor Funk, Jason Hong 10.30pm* Sudarshan Yellamaraju, Jack Trent, Ryan Orr 3am Viraj Garewal, Cory Crawford, Jake Scott

Defending champion: Ryan Gerrard Past Aussie winners: Nil

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