Min Woo Lee eyes US after breakout year

Rising Australian golf star Min Woo Lee dreams of playing for the big bucks on the US PGA Tour after a golden season in Europe.

MIN WOO LEE of Australia.
MIN WOO LEE of Australia.  Picture: Matt King/Getty Images

Knowing even his B game is good enough, Australian golf sensation Min Woo Lee has set his sights on the lucrative US PGA Tour after taking Europe by storm.

Lee has rocketed from 252nd in the rankings in June to world No.51 after winning the Scottish Open and chalking up four top-10 finishes and eight top-20s from his past 13 events.

Now the 23-year-old is eyeing a future in the US alongside his major-winning sister Minjee, the women's world No.7 and LPGA Tour star.

"Depending on how the ranking goes by the end of the year, I think I'll be spending more time in America, just because I'll have a few stops there and I'll have a few invitations to some of the tournaments, which I'm really excited about," Lee said from quarantine in Perth.

"Nothing's been scheduled yet but hopefully some sponsors can give me some invitations and I can play in America.

"I love America and that's the place I would love to play.

"And obviously all the big European Tour events, which I'm not going to forget about, but obviously on the PGA Tour, there's a lot of perks playing that."

In addition to earning a start at next year's British Open, the big-hitting talent has already secured entries to the 2022 US Open and US PGA Championship.

Lee is also hopeful of ending the calendar year inside the world's top 50 to clinch a coveted spot at the Masters in April.

"Obviously I'm coming 51st now but a couple of events that are in my rankings are going to drop off so that means it will help my ranking go better," he said.

"There's not many tournaments left in the season so hopefully it falls my way.

"I have qualified for the other three majors next year, which is huge for me, and I'm looking forward to playing the Masters if I do get in. That's a dream come true, that's a big one."

Lee said the biggest confidence booster from his spectacular 2021 season had been the realisation that he can compete with the world's best even when not at the very top of his game.

"An example of that was last week (at the European Tour finale in Dubai)," he said.

"I shot three under in the last three rounds and I thought I played really badly. But I still came in tied 16th in the top 60 guys in Europe and I think that just shows that my ball striking has gotten a lot better," he said.

"I've gotten better in every aspect and when the putter behaves, I do really well.

"So everything in my game has gotten a lot better and I've gotten a lot more mature and my headspace is a lot better."

Then there's the Minjee factor, with Lee admitting trying to keep pace with his big sister was always a great motivator.

"I was a little bit in her shadow, I guess, but this year I've proven myself," he said.

"After the Scottish Open, I was the best player in the family and two weeks later she won a bloody major.

"So, yeah, for two weeks I felt like I was on the throne there. But it's a good rivalry. We drive each other."