30 Oct 2019 | Professional golf |

'Gutted' Lee makes vow to fight back

by Martin Blake

Min Woo Lee
Min Woo Lee during the China Open. IMAGE: Getty

Brilliant young Australian pro Min Woo Lee has promised to “come back stronger and better” from the heartbreak of narrowly missing his European Tour card this week after previously believing his position was safe.

Lee, 21, finished just two spots out of the top 115 players who were given cards for 2020, having been led to believe a few weeks earlier that he had secured his rights.

The young man from Perth had told everyone around him that he had enough points from his strong finishes in a string of invitational starts this year, even posting on Instagram that he had “locked up’’ his card.

But today, he admitted that he had made a mistake.

On Instagram, he poured out his heart:

“Well, well, this game can be so good but can also be brutal,” he wrote. “I missed out on a full card on the European Tour by two spots, probably only a couple of shots over the whole year. I thought I had my tour card wrapped up earlier in the year but I was wrong. Which sucks. But lesson learnt. Give it your best and every shot does indeed count.

“But damn, you think about a putt or a shot you missed. I’ll have status next year and most likely play more events than I did this year, which is a still a pretty good effort from getting limited starts this year. I’ll come back stronger and better. And always, thanks for the support.”

Lee, who is a member of Golf Australia’s rookie squad, turned professional at the start of 2019 and quickly made an impact using his sponsor’s invitations. He had no playing rights, but his results were good enough to suggest that he had enough Race To Dubai points – 380 was the mark they were chasing – to get a card for the 2020 season. Lee certainly believed he had done enough and so did the people in his camp.

In fact, he needed around 450 points. Lee, who hails from Royal Fremantle ended up with 440.4, in 117th spot on the table.

His coach, Ritchie Smith, told Golf Australia he was stunned last weekend when Lee texted him to say that his position was “tight”. But Smith has said Lee may benefit from the “kick in the teeth” in the longer run.

Lee has been told that he can expect to get 15-20 starts next year with the category 18 or conditional status that he has earned by playing so well this year.

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