Min Woo Lee is ready to set out on his quest to be crowned top golfer on the 2021 European Tour, backed by a huge vote of confidence in his “super talent” from his illustrious Australian colleague Adam Scott.
Lee, still only 23, has an outside shot at winning the Race to Dubai, the season-long Order of Merit on the European Tour, but must continue his recent superb form and win the season’s final event, the World Tour Championship, to have any chance.
Asked by AAP about his young compatriot’s chances, former Masters champ Scott, speaking from the US where he’s preparing for the RSM Classic, said: “Min Woo might win the whole thing and we see a new star of golf.”
Currently fifth in the race, Lee could become the first Australian since Greg Norman back in 1982 to triumph over the whole season in Europe, but he currently has a quality quartet ahead of him, headed by overall Race to Dubai leader, American Collin Morikawa.
If Lee was to win on the Earth course at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai while British Open champion Morikawa finished lower than seventh and fellow US star Billy Horschel was worse than fourth, then Lee, victor at the Scottish Open in July, would be line for the big prize.
It’s a big ‘if’ with a trio of Englishmen – Tyrrell Hatton, fourth in the race, Matt Fitzpatrick (6th) and Paul Casey (7th) also in with a chance this week.
Jon Rahm, third in the standings, has decided to skip the $US9 million event which begins on Thursday.
Yet Scott, for one, is not surprised by the outstanding rise of Lee, who’s finished in the top-10 in his last three starts on tour.
“He’s a super talent,” said Scott.
“Actually, it’s funny how things work. I was talking with someone who knows him a week before the Open Championship (in July) and he was asking me why Min Woo hadn’t done better.
“I said, ‘it could be ‘many things but it’s probably just a matter of time because he’s so talented’ – and he won the Scottish Open in pretty fine style that week.
“The talent is all there – he’s got the modern game, he’s got all the attributes, he’s just has to find the best way to apply himself to really consistently challenge at that level.
“No doubt a really good week this week would do his confidence the world of good.”