Min Woo Lee targets NSW Open golf crown

Min Woo Lee, the talented younger brother of Australia's top-ranked women's golfer Minjee, has emerged as the NSW Open golf championship favourite in Sydney.

28-Nov-2019 By Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press
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Min Woo Lee has rebounded from the heartbreak of missing out on a full European Tour card to emerge as favourite to win the NSW Open at Twin Creeks Golf Club.

The younger brother of Australian women's No.1 Minjee, Lee carved out an eight-under-par 64 on Thursday to trail tyro first-round leader Josh Younger by a shot.

Lee eagled the 12th hole after driving the short par-4 and collected seven birdies on a day of hot scoring in Sydney's smoggy west.

"I just played pretty solid. Kinda stress-free," Lee said.

"I said yesterday there were a lot of chances out there and I rolled the putter great."

Lee's blistering start comes barely a month after a sloppy finish at the season-ending Portugal Masters cost the 21-year-old his full 2020 playing rights in Europe.

Lee finished two positions outside of the top 115 golfers who automatically get a full card for next year, earning partial rights instead, after finding the water on the penultimate hole.

"For the last few months I got told that I had my card wrapped up and I didn't need any more invites or anything," he told AAP at Twin Creeks.

"Yeah, I didn't know until the cameras came out on 17 and 18 that I was the bubble boy, which was kind of heartbreaking because I made a double (bogey) on 17.

"If I knew I would have played a little bit different. There was water right. Obviously I'm not trying to hit it but I definitely could have done 500 million more things differently.

"It was just a bit of an unlucky thing but I'm still in a pretty good position for next year so I'm just happy where I am."

He's also in a pretty good position to claim his maiden victory on home soil after a series of top-10 finishes in Europe and Australasia.

Younger leads the way at nine-under, one clear of Lee and Justin Warren, after an incredible opening to the tournament featured seven birdies in his first eight holes during a front-nine 29.

The leader credited his mental and swing coaches for his stunning opening.

"Just the work I've done over the past couple of months with my mental coach has been the big difference. It just clicked today," Younger said.

With former NRL star Braith Anasta carrying his clubs, exciting young amateur Nathan Barbieri fired a seven-under 65 to sit just two shots off the pace.

Another of the Anasta-managed mob Dimi Papadatos is also two back along with Travis Smyth.


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