An impressive final-round 67 at LACC allowed Min Woo Lee to have his best career major showing (T-5) and earned him a spot into this week’s Travelers Championship field. David Cannon
Ask Australia’s Min Woo Lee how he got into the field at the $20 million Travelers Championship despite being a Special Temporary Member on the PGA Tour, and he’ll tell you it’s a funny story.
Lee originally planned to spend this week watching his sister Minjee, a two-time LPGA major winner, compete at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at New Jersey’s famed Baltusrol Golf Club. He was not in the field for Travelers, a designated event, and so it was a nicely timed week off. Those plans still looked firm Saturday night in Los Angeles, after the third round of the U.S. Open, when Lee was two under par and eight shots off the 54-hole lead.
That night, Min Woo got a text from Adam Scott, Lee’s countryman and childhood idol, with an offer to ride on the former World No.1’s private jet to Hartford, Connecticut. “I’m not in Travelers, sorry,” Lee responded, to which Scott had a pointed reply that Lee paraphrased: “Just finish in the top 10 then and you can come. Go get it done.”
Indeed, a top-10 finish at LACC would qualify Lee to start in the next PGA Tour event if not already in the field.
Inspired, Lee shot a bogey-free 67 in the final round to finish tied for fifth. It was his best result in a major championship and first top-10 on the PGA Tour. Sure enough, Lee and his caddie, Stu Davidson, hitched a ride on Scott’s plane.
“It was a really cool feeling for Adam to do that for me. He’s been a good mentor in my career,” Lee said of the 14-time PGA Tour winner. “I grew up watching him win the  Masters and now he’s become a friend. It’s special.”
Lee has until the end of the season, which will include the autumn portion of the schedule after the FedEx Cup Playoffs, to earn at least the same non-member points as No. 125 in the standings to secure his PGA Tour card next season. With a T-6 at the Players Championship in March and the T-5 at the US Open, he’s well on track. Either way, the 24-year-old is feeling good about his attempt to transition from the DP World Tour, where he’s won twice, to the PGA Tour.
The native of Perth, Western Australia just wants to examine why he sometimes has a poor round within a big event that drops him out of contention, like a Saturday 74 at LACC when he was only three off the lead.
“I really have to dig deep on why the occasional bad round happens but my good golf is awesome I feel I can compete out here,” Lee said. “If I do the right things, experience will start to develop. I’ve only played in a handful of majors, so it’s nice to play well in the early stages of my career. I’m excited to play Travelers this week.”