16 Feb 2022 | Professional golf |

Lee calls for more party holes

by Dane Heverin

Min Woo Lee is a "laid back" guy who wants to see more people who do not regularly attend golf tournaments coming along and having fun.
Min Woo Lee is a "laid back" guy who wants to see more people who do not regularly attend golf tournaments coming along and having fun.

The rowdy crowd behaviour at the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Phoenix Open last week has been the talk of the golfing world and Min Woo Lee is the latest player to call for more of it.

Lee did not play at TPC Scottsdale and he was left with a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out) as the world famous party hole - the par-3 16th which holds 20,000 spectators - went viral following wild celebrations for Sam Ryder’s hole-in-one.

“I’m a pretty laid back person so I really enjoyed seeing that,” Lee told Perth’s TAB Radio

“Hopefully there are a few more tournaments like that.”

The world number 55 did not condone every aspect of the fans’ conduct, but he has joined a growing chorus of players - including Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas - that believe the party atmosphere is good for the sport.

“I guess it’s not right throwing beer and throwing beer cans on the putting green. But it brings everyone into golf. Even people that don’t watch golf regularly, they can come to the tournament and have some fun,” Lee said.

“This sport is known for being really serious. It’s very good to have some fun every once in a while.”

Lee had “some fun” with the crowd at the Australian PGA Championship’s party hole - the par-3 17th at Royal Queensland - last month and he loved seeing other players take that to a new level in Arizona.

“I really enjoyed seeing those guys getting shirtless and the hole-in-ones,” Lee said in reference to Harry Higgs and Joel Dahmen going topless and waving their shirts around for the crowd.

“My friend Carlos (Ortiz) had the second hole-in-one so it was awesome to see.”

This week the 25-year-old will not get his wish for an atmosphere more commonly associated with the various football codes across the globe, but he will fulfil some of the dreams of his younger self.

Lee is teeing it up in the Genesis Invitational in Los Angeles in a strong field that includes all of the top-ten players in the world.

“It’s nice to see guys I looked up to on TV and to be playing against them,” he said.

The tournament at the Riviera Country Club is organised by the Tiger Woods Foundation - Lee made headlines back in 2016 when Woods gave him a private 30-minute lesson following his US Junior Amateur triumph - and the West Australian received an invitation to play.

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