Min Woo Lee underlined his rising star power by playing his way into the weekend at the Andalucia Masters in dramatic fashion and subsequently securing his status on the European Tour for the remainder of the year.
Tied for 44th heading into the final round, Lee made two birdies and one bogey on the back nine to move up 21 spots on the leaderboard, the €32,100 in prize money enough for him to surpass the number required to receive unlimited invitations into tournaments for the rest of 2019.
Yet it could have been very different.
Sitting on the cut line late in his second round after opening up with a 4-over 75, the 20-year-old took the bit between the teeth.
Birdies at the 10th and 11th holes were offset by bogeys at 13 and 14 which had him flirting with the cut line but three birdies in his final four holes secured safe passage to the third round and a platform to make a weekend move.
Invites and top-five finishes at the Saudi International and ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth has allowed Lee and his IMG management team to build a nine-event schedule to date, Lee holding up his end of the bargain by banking €279,505 to sit 71st in the Race to Dubai rankings.
Like his fellow West Australian, Jason Scrivener made a positive move in the final round to rise 18 spots and into a tie for 26th with Wade Ormsby the only other Australian to qualify for the weekend in a tie for 26th.
Victorian Ben Eccles was in a good position to record his breakthrough win on the European Challenge Tour but lost ground on the final day to finish tied for 19th at the Italian Challenge Open wion in a playoff by England’s Matthew Jordan.
Tied for third through three rounds, Eccles dropped shots at the first and third holes and then put the nail in the coffin with a double-bogey at the par-4 eighth and a bogey at the ninth to turn in 4-over 39.
Showing strength of character, Eccels shrugged that off to record three birdies in a bogey-free back nine to record his best finish since he was seventh at the SEC NZ PGA Championship in March.
Tied for second after the first round, Jordan Zunic was unable to sustain such a lofty position to finish tied for 38th with Kiwi Josh Geary a further shot back in a tie for 41st.
|Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters|
|Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande, Spain|
|T23||Min Woo Lee||75-67-74-70—286||€32,100|
European Challenge Tour
|Italian Challenge Open|
|Terre Dei Consoli Golf Club, Monterosi|
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