Rising Australian star Min Woo Lee says he quickly learnt to ditch his “hot shot” mentality after enduring a tough initiation to professional golf.
Lee was feeling like a million dollars last month at the start of the Abu Dhabi Championship – his first tournament as a professional.
But the 20-year-old was soon brought back to earth after failing to make the cut at his debut event.
The disappointing result was the perfect wake-up call for Lee, who rebounded in stunning fashion by finishing fourth at the Saudi International.
That star-studded field included top-five players Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau.
Lee’s strong showing will help him earn invites to more European Tour events this year.
The West Australian said experiencing the highs and lows so early on in his professional career was a good thing.
“I had a really good lesson in Abu Dhabi,” Lee said of his debut tournament.
“I missed the cut and kind of had to switch my mentality. I was feeling like a hot shot really in Abu Dhabi (at the start of the tournament). So it was nice to kind of feel the lows really quickly.
“Then I worked hard in Dubai in my week off and it paid off in Saudi.”
Lee followed up his fourth-placed finish in Saudi Arabia by missing the cut in the recent web.com Tour event in Panama.
But that disappointing result had a silver lining – allowing Lee to fly home to compete in this week’s World Super 6 Perth tournament at Lake Karrinyup, starting Thursday.
“After 11 holes of the web.com event I was seven over,” Lee explained.
“My manager was walking around and I’m like, ‘When’s the next flight to Perth?’
Lee revealed his flight home didn’t quite go to plan because of mechanical issues three hours into his journey.
“It was originally meant to go to Hong Kong and then Perth,” Lee said.
“It was funny. I was sleeping, and then the guy opened up my window and said ‘We’re landing’.
“I was like, ‘Sweet, that was the quickest 16 hours I’ve ever had’. And then he was like, ‘Oh no, we had to go back’.
“So I flew back, had to change my flight. I stayed at the airport for like five hours. But here I am.”
Lee has good memories of the World Super 6 after finishing tied for fifth last year.
The $1.6 million tournament features three rounds of stroke play, before the top 24 players battle it out in a series of six-hole match play duels on the final day.
Thomas Pieters, Tom Lewis, Lucas Herbert, Andrew Johnston, and Geoff Ogilvy are among the tournament’s drawcards.
Australian Associated Press