Rookie sensation Min Woo Lee has taken another significant step towards securing full status on the European Tour after logging his fourth top-20 finish of the season at the Volvo China Open in Shenzhen.
Weekend rounds of 65-66 gave Finland’s Mikko Korhonen the momentum he needed to best France’s Benjamin Hebert in a playoff for the second European Tour title of his career with Spain’s Jorge Campillo a shot further back in outright third.
Using one of the seven sponsor exemptions at his disposal to play in China, Lee’s tie for 14th and cheque for €37,547 moves him a step closer to earning the prize money he needs in order to receive unlimited invitations for the remainder of the year.
Sitting 51st in the Race to Dubai standings, a top-10 finish at Genzon Golf Club could have earned the 21-year-old a place in the field for this week’s British Masters.
He began the final round in a tie for eighth but struggled to build momentum in the middle of his round, making 10 straight pars from the 8th hole before a birdie at the last for a final round of 2-under 70.
The West Australian may now be forced to seek another sponsor’s invitation in order to tee it up in the British Masters at Hillside Golf Club worth £3,000,000.
While Lee dropped back slightly in the pack on Sunday, Lismore’s Sam Brazel made a significant leap up the leaderboard.
A bogey-free 6-under 66 – the equal second best score of the day – vaulted Brazel up 25 places on the leaderboard and into a tie for 19th and up to 115th in the Race to Dubai.
West Australian Jason Scrivener remains in 32nd position on the order of merit thanks to a tie for 32nd in China while Zach Murray made a strong impression in his first European Tour event outside of Australia, tied for 30th before a final round of 76 saw him fall 30 spots on Sunday.
Wade Ormsby and Scott Hend were the other two Australians to play all four rounds.
Despite an encouraging start of 2-under 70 in the first round of the European Challenge Tour’s Challenge de Espana Ben Eccles, the sole Australian in the field, missed the cut, as did New Zealand’s Josh Geary.
|Volvo China Open|
|Genzon Golf Club, Shenzhen, China|
|T14||Min Woo Lee||69-67-70-70—276||€37,547|
|Challenge de Espana|
|Izki Golf, Alava Province, Spain|
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