THE summer of Min Woo Lee is officially over, and what a summer it was. Coming off the back of a stellar year between the PGA and DP World tours, the Perth native arrived in Australia last month with fans hopeful the chef would cook something special up.
Fresh off a T15 at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, Lee took the Australian PGA Championship by storm at Royal Queensland by producing his trademark showmanship. Lee sent the galleries wild when he chipped in for eagle on the par-5 ninth during the final round at RQ en route to a three-shot victory. His social media catchphrase, “Let him cook,” truly took off in the media and among sports fans.
Last week, the 25-year-old threatened to take the Australian Open crown as well, leading the tournament through three rounds. Despite a final round of one-over 72 at The Australian Golf Club dropping him to third place, Lee sent a message to the Australian sporting public (who weren’t already aware): there’s a new star golfer to get behind.
“It’s amazing [the support],” Lee said. “I can’t thank everyone enough. It was a beautiful scene coming down 18 [at The Australian GC] and all week I had so many people come out and watch. I’m really proud of Australians and proud that I’m Australian. It was unbelievable.”
Lee’s Australian PGA victory – his third career DP World Tour title – took him to No.38 on the Official World Golf Rankings. Then, The Australian Open third placing took him to a career-high No.35. He is assured of an invitation to the Masters at Augusta National and is almost guaranteed to tee up in the other three majors in 2024.
Lee now puts his Callaway clubs down for some deserved rest over Christmas before beginning life as a PGA Tour member in January, likely at the Sony Open in Hawaii in the second week of 2024.
Lee earned some seriously hot results on the PGA Tour in 2023, like a maiden major top five: a T5 at the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club in June. There was also a T6 at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, a T9 at the Travelers Championship and a T6 at the Zozo Championship in Japan in October. Those results, among others, locked up enough non-member points to become a fully-fledged PGA Tour member for 2024.
Internationally, Lee was impressive, too. He registered a T2 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and T7 at the Irish Open, both on the DP World Tour. Those finishes helped Lee to finish 10th on the DP World Tour final rankings. Lee also won the Asian Tour’s Macao Open in October.
“It’s been a big year. I’m pretty proud of the way I’ve finished and now the celebrations begin,” he said.
We can’t wait to see what Lee cooks up in 2024.
WHAT’S IN THE BAG – MIN WOO LEE
Driver: Paradym Triple Diamond (10.5°) with Fujikura Ventus Blue 6X Shaft
Fairway Wood: Paradym Triple Diamond (16.5°) with Fujikura Ventus Blue 10X Shaft
Utility iron: X Forged UT (2-iron) with True Temper AMT Tour White Shaft
Irons: Apex MB (4-PW) with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 Shafts
Wedge: Jaws MD 5 (50°) with Nippon NS Pro Modus Shaft
Putter: Odyssey Tri Hot 5K Double Wide
Ball: Chrome Soft X
Women’s Australian Open
Also in Australia, Jenny Shin battled tough conditions in Sydney to finish T3 at the Women’s Australian Open held concurrently to the men’s tournament. Shin, who uses a Callaway Epic Max LS and Odyssey Toulon Daytona Beach putter, carded a final round of 72 to finish at four under par and five shots off the winning total.
Player of The Year nominee
Callaway star Jon Rahm was on Tuesday announced as being in the running to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award for PGA Tour Player of the Year. The awards are voted on by the PGA Tour Player Directors and members of the Player Advisory Council (PAC). Rahm entered 20 PGA Tour events in 2022/23 and finished the season with a tour-best four victories. They came at The Sentry on the island Maui, The American Express and Genesis Invitational events both in California, as well as Rahm’s second career major championship at the Masters at Augusta National. The Spaniard also posted 10 top-10 results. Rahm finished 18th on the season-long FedEx Cup standings and his scoring average of 69.037 was third on tour. He is considered the favourite to take out the Jack Nicklaus award.
Jon Rahm – What’s In The Bag
Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond (10.5°, Aldila Tour Green ATX 75 2.8 TX shaft)
Fairways Woods: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond T (16° and 18°, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X shafts)
Irons: Callaway Apex Pro (4, KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 X shaft); Callaway Apex TCB (5-PW, Project X 6.5 shafts)
Wedges: Callaway Jaws Raw (52-10, 56-12, 60-10, Project X 125 6.5 shafts)
Putter: Odyssey Ai-One Rossie S
Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X