He will have played in every major in 2024 when the Open Championship tees off next month, but in only one signature event on the PGA Tour regular. Min Woo Lee this week owned up to his results not being potent enough to get him into all of the PGA Tour’s $US20 million, limited-field events this season, but admits it was “hard to take” missing out.

“I’m not the one to moan about it, but I guess I played every major, which is awesome and amazing,” Lee said on Tuesday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. “I played into them (the majors). To not play most of the signature events, it was kind of hard to take a little bit. I know I’ve got to play better and make the cut-off line at the end of the year and get to play next year.”

The accountability is impressive, but Lee was also hard done by when it came sponsor’s invitations this season. The signature fields ranged between 70 and 80 players. The easiest way to get in was to finish in the top 50 on the FedEx Cup points list from the 2023 season. Then, you could win a tournament, or the top 30 on the world rankings, or the top 10 on the current (2024) FedEx Cup, or accumulate the most points from tournaments held in between signature events. Then there were sponsor’s invitations. Each tournament had a certain amount to dish out, often four per event.

Webb Simpson, who took five sponsor’s invitations this season, had to defend his tally after the fourth exemption, saying that they had nothing to do with his position on the PGA Tour’s Policy Board. Simpson said: “I know that I’ve gotten, this is my fourth sponsor exemption, and Adam Scott’s received his fair share. There was controversy and guys were trying to link us being on the board, but it has nothing to do with me being on the board.”

It was a missed opportunity not to invite Lee to more of the signature events. He’s a social-media star and a sponsor’s dream. He’s a colourful personality with a flamboyant style of playing golf. He can also play. The 25-year-old is a three-time DP World Tour winner. He’s finished in the top 25 in half his events in 2024 – including in the top 26 in all three majors played this year. He had a runner-up at Palm Beach in February, which got him into the signature event the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but he wasn’t in the top 20 often enough for more signature starts. Still, he is 63rd on the FedEx Cup and the events had 70 players.

“I think that was one thing this year that I kind of missed out on and would have really loved to play those events,” Lee, who reiterated that his results weren’t good enough, said.

Instead, Lee, who is playing in his first year as a fully fledged PGA Tour member, will need to bring his FedEx Cup ranking down to within the top 50 by the end of the season to guarantee starts in all the signature events in 2025. “That’s one of the bigger goals [the next six weeks]; hopefully, I can make it into the Presidents Cup, too,” Lee said.

With only six events left in the before the FedEx Cup playoffs, Lee, who also qualified for Australia’s Olympics team for Paris in August, wants to debut for the International team at the Presidents Cup in Canada in September. He is currently one spot short of the six automatic qualifiers for the Internationals.

“I felt like I missed out last time by a small margin,” said Lee of the 2022 edition at Quail Hollow. “I’ve been playing a lot better since not making that team two years ago. I know the American team is very strong and we’ve got to play very well to beat them but I’m really excited, especially the team aspect. I really love playing match play; being with a partner is cool.”

News you may have missed

US Sports celebrity Dave Portnoy has won more than $US 2million this year betting on Scottie Scheffler, even though the world No.1 has tournament odds as short as Tiger Woods in his pomp. Portnoy, who founded mega US sports blog and network Barstool, bet $US300,000 on Scheffler to win the Masters, which yielded a $1.65 million payday, then $100,00 on a multi for the Boston Celtics to win the NBA Finals and Scheffler to win the RBC Heritage in April, and that turned that into $1.6 million payout. He also put $180,000 on Scheffler to win the Travelers Championship last week and that turned into $500,000.

Golf story of the year?

Nick Bienz, who works at a Golf Galaxy store in the US, qualified for the PGA Tour event in Detroit, Michigan. Bienz, who is a registered pro golfer but has never competed higher than a state open, shot 65 in the Rocket Mortgage Monday qualifier field. He drank three beers after, then discovered he had to go back out and contest a five-for-four sudden-death playoff. Global golf X/Twitter followed along, and Bienz got the job done. He’ll tee up in the Rocket Mortgage with the support of the golf world. What a story.

Olympic women’s teams confirmed?

After Jason Day and Lee were set for the men’s team, Hannah Green and Minjee Lee were confirmed for the women’s team for Paris. C’mon, Aussies.

Bets for the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club?

I like Tom Kim, who has $12 odds and is the favourite to win. This is a relatively weak field, and he nearly won a Signature event against Scheffler last week. Stephen Jaeger has $3.25 odds for a top 10 and $2.10 odds for a top 20. He beat Scheffler in Texas earlier this year and has two top 10s in the past two years at Rocket Mortgage. Look at Cam Davis ($3.10 odds) for top Aussie out of the four that includes Lee, Davis, Aaron Baddeley and Harrison Endycott.

Round 1 tee-times AEST (courtesy Australian Golf Media)

PGA Tour
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Detroit Golf Club, Detroit, Michigan
8:56pm            Aaron Baddeley
9:51pm            Tim Wilkinson (NZ)
2:32am            Ryan Fox (NZ)
2:43am            Min Woo Lee
3:05am            Cam Davis
4:22am            Harrison Endycott

Defending champion: Rickie Fowler
Past Aussie winners: Cam Davis (2021)
Prize money: $US9.2 million
TV times: Live 10pm-8am Thursday; Live 2am-8am Saturday, Sunday; Live 1:30am-8am Monday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

PGA Tour Champions
US Senior Open
Newport Country Club, Newport, Rhode Island
9:31pm*          Michael Long (NZ)
9:52pm*          Mark Hensby
10:03pm*         Stuart Appleby
10:34pm          Richard Green
10:55pm          Richard Lee (NZ)
2:51am*           Greg Chalmers, Michael Wright
3:22am            Rod Pampling
3:33am*           Vijay Singh (FI)
3:43am*           Cameron Percy
4:04am*           Steven Alker (NZ)
4:15am*           Mathew Goggin

Defending champion: Bernhard Langer
Past Aussie winners: Graham Marsh (1997)
Prize money: $US4 million
TV times: Live 2am-7am Friday, Saturday, Sunday on Fox Sports 505; Live 2:30am-7:30am Monday on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo.

Dow Championship
Midland Country Club, Midland, Michigan
9:15pm             Robyn Choi/Minji Kang
10:10pm          Gabriela Ruffels/Esther Henseleit
10:32pm          Lydia Ko (NZ)/Danielle Kang
1:52am            Stephanie Kyriacou/Olivia Cowan
2:14am            Hira Naveed/Sofia Garcia
2:14am*           Grace Kim/Auston Kim
2:25am            Sarah Kemp/Alena Sharp

Defending champion: Elizabeth Szokol/Cheyenne Knight
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Prize money: $US3 million
TV times: 12:30pm-2pm Friday on Fox Sports 503; Live 7am-9am Sunday; Live 2am-5am Monday on Fox Sports 505 and Kayo.

DP World Tour
Italian Open
Adriatic Golf Club Cervia, Milano Marittima, Italy
5pm                 Daniel Hillier (NZ)
8:50pm*          Jason Scrivener
9:50pm*          Haydn Barron
10:10pm          David Micheluzzi
10:30pm*         Sam Jones (NZ)

Defending champion: Adrian Meronk
Past Aussie winners: Greg Norman (1988), Craig Parry (1991)
Prize money: $US3.25 million
TV times: Live 9pm-2am Thursday on Fox Sports 505; Live 9pm-2am Friday; Live 10:30pm-2am Saturday; Live 8:30pm-1:30am Sunday on Fox Sports 503 and Kayo.

Ladies European Tour
VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open
Golfpark Holzhausern, Switzerland
Australasians in the field: Whitney Hillier, Kirsten Rudgeley, Momoka Kobori (NZ), Kelsey Bennett, Amy Walsh

Defending champion: Alexandra Forsterling
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Prize money: €300,000
TV times: 10am-12pm Saturday; 9am-11am Sunday on Fox Sports 505; 8am-10am Monday on Fox Sports 503.

Korn Ferry Tour
Memorial Health Championship
Panther Creek Country Club, Springfield, Illinois
3:22am            Rhein Gibson
3:44am            Brett Drewitt

Defending champion: Paul Barjon
Past Aussie winners: Brett Drewitt (2020)
Prize money: $US1 million

Korean PGA Tour
Biz Play-Wonder Club Open
Club 72 Country Club (Sky Cse), Korea
1pm*            Kevin Chun (NZ)
1:30pm            Sungjin Yeo (NZ)
2pm Junseok Lee

Defending champion: Inaugural event
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Prize money: KRW700 million

Challenge Tour
Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge
Golf PGA France du Vaudreuil, Le Vaudreuil, France
4pm                 Jeff Guan
9pm*               Andrew Martin
9:10pm            Tom Power Horan
10:30pm          Hayden Hopewell
10:40pm*         Connor McKinney

Defending champion: Darren Fichardt
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Prize money: €270,000

Epson Tour
Dream First Bank Charity Classic
Buffalo Dunes Golf Course, Garden City, Kansas
Australasians in the field: Amelia Garvey (NZ), Cassie Porter, Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Amy Chu, Soo Jin Lee

Defending champion: Gabriela Ruffels
Past Aussie winners: Gabriela Ruffels (2023)
Prize money: $US237,500

PGA Tour Americas
ATB Classic
Northern Bear Golf Club, Strathcona County, Alberta
12:50am          Karl Vilips
1:30am*           Charlie Hillier (NZ)
5:10am*           Grant Booth
5:50am*           Harry Hillier (NZ)

Defending champion: Inaugural event
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Prize money: $US225,000

LET Access Series
MoreGolf Mastercard Open
Varbergs Golf Klubb, Sweden
5:17pm          Belinda Ji (a)
9:41pm          Hanee Song (NZ)
11:09pm        Munchin Keh (NZ)
11:31pm        Wenyung Keh (NZ)

Defending champion: Emily Price
Past Aussie winners: Nil
Prize money: €40,000