Date: October 01, 2018
Author: Golf Australia

Lee heads potent Aussie force

Perth’s Min Woo Lee says he has unfinished business at this week’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship.

The 10th edition of the region’s premier amateur championship will be played at the New Tanjong course at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore from Thursday, with one of the great prizes in amateur golf on offer to the winner.

A full field of 120 amateurs from 39 countries will chase an invitation to the 2019 Masters Tournament at Augusta National and a place in the 148th Open at Royal Portrush, provided he retains his amateur status. The runner(s)-up will gain a start in The Open Qualifying Series.

Lee is one of six Australians in Singapore and, at No.10, is the field’s highest ranked player on the world amateur standings.

He will be joined by Victorians David Micheluzzi (No.13) and Zach Murray (No.30), Queenslanders Dylan Perry (No.31) and Shae Wools-Cobb (No.37) and Newcastle’s Blake Windred (No.55).

While Wools-Cobb led early last year at Royal Wellington, Lee finished tied for third after consecutive weekend rounds of 71 after he led the tournament by one stroke at the halfway stage.

The 20-year-old Royal Fremantle member is clearly focused on an even better result in 2018.

“I’m really excited to play once again in the AAC, because it’s the biggest event in the Asia-Pacific region and to play against the best field is always special,” said the 2016 US Junior Amateur champion.

“It is unfinished business for me. I felt like I didn’t play that great in last year’s tournament in Wellington and came in third. So, I’d definitely like to play better this year and see how it goes.”

Lee said he relished being the top-ranked player in the field and expressed confidence that the weekend rounds in Wellington, which he called a “learning experience” for the future, would help him finish better in Singapore.

“There is definitely a big hype being the highest-ranked player as I’ve experienced in the past few months, but you still have to play great golf to win tournaments,” Lee said.

“’m not really worried about being the highest-ranked amateur too much. I feel I’ve obviously done something right to be the top player, so it’s always nice to get the reminder that I’ve been playing well.

“The learning from Wellington is huge. To have such a big event on the line, with the majors on the back of my mind, there was pressure to get the job done. Unfortunately, I didn’t play all that well on the last day, but it will help me be ready this year to take on the challenge.”

Lee is considering turning professional before year’s end, but that will be put on hold if he manages to stave off the challenge of the other 119 top amateurs from the region.

“I was very close to turning pro last year and yes, the time is getting very close now for that … but if I do end up winning, it definitely does change my schedule.

“The perks of winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship are awesome. You can’t complain about getting major starts. It’s lovely that as amateurs we have such a chance.”

The 72-hole stroke play event at Sentosa has been a springboard for players such as two-time champion Hideki Matsuyama of Japan (2010 and 2011), China’s Guan Tianlang (winner in 2012 who went on to become the youngest player ever to make the cut at the 2013 Masters) and another promising West Australian, Curtis Luck (2016), who has just earnt his US PGA Tour card.

The AAC will be televised across 160 countries and reach millions of homes, including those with Fox Sports in Australia which has provided Paul Gow to the commentary team.

The broadcast will include three hours of high-definition coverage, and a 30-minute highlight show will also be produced after the event. All live coverage will also be streamed on the official event website,, supplemented by unique video and editorial content available on the website throughout the championship.