Min Woo Lee hunting first professional win after breakthrough season in Europe

Asked what a first win as a professional would mean, Lee said: “Really important. And it isn’t easy to win, not any week, including this week. This tournament might not be as high profile as some others, but there are plenty of really good players here this week.

“If you’re going to win, you’re going to need to play really, really well.”

The world No.386 finished in a tie for sixth at Twin Creeks when still playing as an amateur and has the chance to go a few places better returning as a professional.

Considered one of the brightest prospects in Australian golf, Lee looks back on his first foray onto the European Tour with fondness and hopes the NSW Open will prove the catalyst for the same sort of success abroad as it was for last year’s champion Jake McLeod.

McLeod maintained his full playing status on the European Tour and won’t defend his NSW Open crown this week.

“After starting where I did to almost get a full card was a really good effort and I’m very proud of it,” Lee said. “It’s been a fantastic experience since January and I’ve really enjoyed it and learned a lot as well.

“All the other professionals have been really good to me and it’s been great to get to know quite a few of them. All the guys have told me the same thing. They say I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and that I don’t need to change anything.

“That’s really nice to hear and I’ve enjoyed picking all their brains about the game.”

The former teen prodigy will be paired with Brett Rumford, who was a late entrant after the Hong Kong Open was cancelled due to political unrest, and David Micheluzzi on Thursday morning.

The field also includes 14-year-old Newcastle star Jake Riley, who qualified for the event earlier this week. He has carried the bag for coach Nathan Green in the past two NSW Open tournaments and will miss school this week in order to make his first appearance in the event.


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