The world number 51 has just had a breakout year and will take on the role previously reserved for players like Adam Scott and current Australian number 1 Cameron Smith at the Australian PGA Championship in January.
The 23-year-old won the Scottish Open in July and finished sixth in the lucrative Race to Dubai ranking, unchecked by the expectations that these successes at the Royal Queensland Golf Club will put on his shoulders.
“I’m sure there will be pressure when I get there, but I feel like I’ve proven to myself that I can get through this phase and not be afraid of the challenge,” Lee said on day two of his Hotel quarantine in Perth.
“I’m looking forward to it. When I went to the Vic Open (which he won in 2020) I felt like I was one of the top players there and ended up being the one who holds the trophy. A little bit of this one Law of attraction, I think, the feeling of belonging and the feeling of being on top. “
Well that’s a wrap! T16 to finish the last tournament of the year and 6th in the Race to Dubai leaderboard! 😍💪🏼 Big thanks to family, friends, sponsors and fans who have supported me all season. Couldn’t have done it without you. Quarantine back in Aus expected ️ @DPWorldTour pic.twitter.com/GOBJHOKKOz
– Min Woo Lee (@ Minwoo27Lee) November 23, 2021
It was a feeling that Lee eluded when he went back to playing tournament golf last year with no fans lining the fairways as he struggled to find external energy to feed himself.
“In my second year as a professional I had problems with not having fans there,” he said.
“It seemed like you were only playing one Tuesday afternoon round with your pals and it wasn’t that championship vibe. It definitely helps with the fans on the pitch. “
Fans will be in attendance at Royal Queensland and the Western Australian can’t wait to put on another show for the Australian audience.
“I like to have fun and it will be good in front of the Australian crowd,” he said.
“I think a lot of my success comes from having fans out there.”
Lee’s positive appearances this year are not only due to the return of fans to Europe’s courses.
He has continued to improve thanks to the combination of a clean hitting and a positive attitude that puts him at the top of the top 50 in the world.
“Last week I was shooting three-under in the last three rounds and I thought I was playing really bad. But I’m still 16th in the top 60 in Europe and I think that just goes to show that my stroke has gotten a lot better, ”he said.
“I think I’ve gotten better in every way and when the putter is acting I do really well. I’ve grown a lot more mature and my headroom is much better – I just surround myself with people who want to do well. “
Maturity and a positive attitude will come in handy when he’s shaking off any rust and not hitting the ball as straight as he’d like at Royal Queensland – a course he’s never played before.
“I saw on Twitter that they were closing the fairway and making it a bit narrower, that annoyed me a bit,” he said with a laugh.
“I was looking forward to the first week on tour again and the blasting drives left and right and I’m fine. I think if it gets closer it will probably be better for me for the tournaments in Europe. “