Scottish Open: Min Woo Lee savours 'amazing' success

Min Woo Lee was inspired by Novak Djokovic’s winning speech at Wimbledon as he added to Australia’s sporting success over the weekend with a play-off victory in the abrdn Scottish Open in East Lothian.

Min Woo Lee of Australia celebrates with the trophy after winning the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.
Min Woo Lee of Australia celebrates with the trophy after winning the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.

The 22-year-old holed a 10-foot birdie putt at the first extra hole in the $8 million Rolex Series event to beat Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick and Belgian Thomas Detry as he claimed the biggest win of his career.

The final round was stopped for 90 minutes due to a threat of lightning, allowing Lee to catch Djokovic’s interview after he’d claimed a record-equalling 20th Grand Slam title with his win in the Wimbledon final.

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“It was amazing to hole that last putt and it was an amazing feeling,” said Lee, whose sister, Minjee, plays on the LPGA Tour, of landing a £935,000 pay-day by coming out on top in the strongest-ever field for the Scottish Open.

“I was actually watching Wimbledon (where Australian Ashleigh Barty won the women’s singles title on Saturday) and it was nice to see Djokovic win and do his interview. I thought I’d like to do that and it’s nice to be able to replicate.

“I knew guys would make birdies down the stretch, but I didn’t give up hope. My family were all still up. My phone was buzzing and it was crazy. I sort of dreamt about this all the night before.”

Lee, Detry and Englishman Jack Senior secured three spots up for grabs in next week’s 149th Open at Royal St George’s in Kent.

“I knew I had a chance for The Open and to get in that and win the tournament is incredible,” added the new Scottish Open champion.

Meanwhile, current Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and two-time Augusta winner Bubba Watson have both withdrawn from The Open due to Covid-19 issues.

Matsuyama is out of the final major of the season as he continues to test positive for Covid, having been in isolation since last Friday, while Watson has been KO’d after being identified as a close contact of an individual testing positive for Covid-19.

“I’m feeling fine but haven’t been able to practice in preparation for The Open,” said Matsuyama. “Combining that with the difficult travel to the UK, my team and I have decided it’s best to withdraw to ensure everyone’s safety.”

Watson announced that he was also out of the Claret Jug event in a post on social media, writing: “I am disappointed to announce I will not compete at The Open next week due to having direct exposure to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

“While I am vaccinated and have passed the required pre-travel Covid-test, not enough time has passed for me to comfortably join the charter flight and risk exposure to the other players and personnel on the plane.”

Matsuyama’s place has gone to Harold Varner III, with Brendan Steele coming in for Watson.

David Duval, the 2001 winner, has also withdrawn, with his place going to compatriot John Catlin. American Adam Long and England’s Sam Horsfield are now next on the standby list.

Bob MacIntyre will be the sole Scot at Sandwich after Richie Ramsay finished as the leading home player in East Lothian but came up just short for an Open spot for the second week in a row.

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