Date: February 21, 2009
Author: Chris Pike at the Vines, Sportal

Lee excited by opportunity

Korean-born New Zealand amateur Danny Lee is just 18 years of age but has a very real opportunity of winning the Johnnie Walker Classic sitting two shots off the pace going into the last round. Lee has come to the Vines in Perth clearly ready to perform well and after rounds of 67, 68 and 69 over the first three days he sits at 12-under, two shots behind British pair Ross McGowan and John Bickerton. Lee, who became the world&aposs No.1 amateur player in 2008 and youngest winner of the US Amateur, was born in South Korea before emigrating to New Zealand aged eight and has had a tremendous three days in Perth. Consistency has been a key to his game as well, hitting 16 birdies opposed to just two bogeys, and a double bogey on Friday. “I&aposm only like two behind,” an excited Lee said. “Yesterday I was only one behind. I still think I can win this tournament. As I said, I&aposm really happy to make the cut and all I&aposve got to do is just play well.” “The excitement is coming from the practice. I&aposve done lots of practice before this tournament, so I feel really ready for the excitement of tomorrow.” Lee didn&apost feel he drove that well on Saturday and the stats back him up as he averaged just 271m per drive and hit 71 percent of the fairways. He also had 32 putts, including one that could have been an eagle on the 18th hole, but he&aposs enjoying the experience at the Vines. “I wasn&apost driving it really well today. I made lots of up and downs and made a three putt on 16, the par three, and still same thing as yesterday, just missed lots of short birdie putts and I&aposm a bit disappointed about that. It ended up pretty good, so I&aposm happy with that,” he said. “It&aposs like it feels different than the first two rounds, I&aposm already in the cut and all I&aposve got to do is just enjoy and try and play well. It was really relaxing and the crowds were cheering me on. That&aposs the best part, I&aposm loving this moment.” Lee is partnered with Australia&aposs Terry Pilkadaris and Chile&aposs Felipe Aguilar for Sunday&aposs final round in the second-last group and he is confident of playing well. “The first five holes, if you can get warmed up and get the feel of the greens, I don&apost know, I could come out early tomorrow. From tee to green, it&aposs pretty easy out there, but on the green it&aposs the hottest spot on this golf course I think for me,” he said. “It&aposs so hard to read these greens, and I&aposm trying to discuss with caddies, the left edge, outside left, inside left and we were just fighting about that. Hopefully it will go in tomorrow.”