Min Woo Lee – with his Scottish Open trophy – photo Getty Images
22 year old Perth golfer, Min Woo Lee today added a second European Tour title with a playoff victory over Thomas Detry and Matthew Fitzpatrick at the prestigious and historic abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in North Berwick in Scotland.
It follows on from Lucas Herbert’s win at the Irish Open last week, both players earning a start at this week’s Open Championship as a result, along with huge cheques and significant jumps in world ranking.
A final round of 64, including six consecutive birdies through the middle of his opening nine, took Lee to the lead and when he added one final birdie at the par 5 16th he had moved ahead although those playing in the two groups behind including his playoff adversaries still had their chance.
Both Fitpatrick and Detry birdied the 16th to draw level with Lee and although unable to edge ahead they would join the Australian in the playoff.
Lucas Herbert, Ian Poulter and Ryan Palmer tied for 4th just one shot from the playoff.
Lee put the result to bed early with a superb approach to 7 feet at the 18th (the first playoff hole) and the title was his.
Lee earns €1.12 million (A$1.77 million equiv) and, given the strength of the field he defeated this week, will jump 180 places in the world ranking to an all time high of around 60th.
Lee also clicks his ticket to the Open Championship at Royal St Georges this week as the leading three finishers in this week’s event and not otherwise exempt for The Open are now in the field.
Lee’s other European Tour win came at the Vic Open at 13th Beach in 2020 and has five other top ten European Tour finishes to his name, until today that is.
“I flushed it all weekend and flushed it all today,” said Lee. “I just needed to kind of stay in the moment. I hit a lot of shots on command today and yesterday, and you know, I just chilled out next to the fireplace while I was waiting. You knew they made par on the 18th hole of regulation, and then went out there and did my thing.
“I was confident in the way I was swinging it and putting it. Changed putter two weeks ago, and then I changed my driver this week. I had a lot of changes but everything was kind of leading up really nicely to this event, so I’m over the moon. Yeah, hopefully I can just keep it going next week.”
Lee played with good friend Wade Ormsby in today’s final round and later said how enjoyable it was in the circumstances to play with someone he knew well.
“I know him really well. We’re pretty good friends out here. He’s put me under his wing a little bit and helped me out. He’s just an awesome bloke.
“It was really nice to play with him. It might have been a different story if I played with Jon Rahm or any of the other guys up there. They are all high-ranked. It was nice to be with someone I’m comfortable with and I’ve played with.
“I think it was nice but it also calmed me down yesterday playing with Xander and Rob. They are awesome guys, too. I was nervous the whole day but I played really good and ended up beating them by a shot and a couple. I had a lot of confidence coming into today.”
“It’s one of the top moments of my life,” he added referring to the significance of the title. “I mean, you always dream about winning tournaments like this and especially this one, it’s a big one on the schedule. So just happy for myself.”
Herbert followed up his win last week with yet another fine showing. After an early bogey at the 2nd (a hole he bogeyed in every round this week) he produced yet another fine round of 66 to give himself a chance of successive victories but he was unable to secure the one final birdie he needed to join the playoff, and finished one behind.
“There’s a lot to be proud about I think,” said Herbert. “I played really nicely obviously in same final group as Jon (Rahm), felt like it would have been easy to be overwhelmed in the situation but felt really cool and calm. Just looks like it’s going to be one or two short. It’s hard to be really happy with it but still a really good week.
“I think there’s a lot of confidence to take. But look, I haven’t really processed it yet. I’m sure tonight I’ll be able to go through it all and have a think and sort of regroup going into next week. But yeah, I think I’ve earned myself a wine or two tonight.”
Wade Ormsby also had a good week, the South Australian finishing 12th after a final round of 69 which included a hole in one while playing with the eventual winner.