Min Woo Lee appears to have secured full-time European Tour playing rights for 2020 with a strong finish in the Andalucia Masters in Spain, giving the brilliant, young Perth pro his first big opportunity on a major tour.
Playing on a sponsors’ invitation, the 20-year-old from Perth carded one of the best rounds of the closing day, a 70, to finish tied-23rd behind South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout at Valderrama.
He earned 32,100 Euros for the effort, bringing his prizemoney in just nine events on the tour this year to 279,505 Euros.
The product of Royal Fremantle and Golf Australia rookie squad member has 412 points in the Race to Dubai standings that will determine his future on the tour, sitting 71st. The top 110 at the end of the season are given playing rights for 2020, meaning that Lee is very close to securing his way, although he remains reliant on invitations.
The points system has changed this season, making the situation less clear, but the 110th player on the money list in 2018 earned 343,000 Euro. Golf Australia believes that Lee's playing rights are now officially safe.
Lee, who turned professional in January, has had a great start, making the cut in eight of nine starts in Europe and finishing fourth in Saudi Arabia and fifth in the Perth Super Six tournament. At the least, he will have conditional status in Europe for 2020.
Originally planning to play his way on the secondary tour in the United States, he has shifted his focus to Europe as a starting point for what could be an outstanding career, with his world ranking climbing to 303rd.
"A lot of people have said 'Europe's the way','' he told Golf Australia's Inside the Ropes podcast recently. "I'm glad I went this way. The courses are really good, and you've got to hit every shot, pretty much. The people are awesome on this tour. It's a good place to start."
As an amateur, he won the Western Australian amateur and the US junior championship.
The younger brother of world No. 3 female Minjee Lee, he is also coached by Ritchie Smith.