Min Woo Lee says the impact he has made stateside owes much to his development as a golfer on the DP World Tour as he looks to continue his impressive form at the Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo.
The Australian arrives at the Belfry full of confidence after a top-five finish at the U.S. Open – his best Major Championship finish – was followed up by a tie for ninth at the Travelers Championship on the PGA TOUR last week.
Lee, who already has a Rolex Series win among his two DP World Tour titles, will now look to translate those performances into a title challenge on his return to European soil.
“There's been stories of going guys going straight on the PGA TOUR, and it's been tough for them because they haven't got that exposure to events,” said World Number 46 Lee.
“It's been awesome for my career to start out here on the DP World and play well in these big events over here.”
Lee finished third at his home ISPS HANDA Australian Open in December, and was runner-up at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, the first Rolex Series event of the DP World Tour season.
Among his other notable performances worldwide so far this year, the 24-year-old also finished in a share of sixth at The PLAYERS Championship and tied for 18th at the US PGA Championship in May.
“It's always going to have a soft spot in my heart, like just being back here at The Belfry, I'm just hanging out with my friends that I've known since junior and amateur days,” he added.
“So, it definitely helped with my career and America's really tough, the courses are tough and I always come back to how I played in Europe, and yeah, lots of confidence from playing out here and I think it's starting to show a little bit in America.”
Lee admits his run of appearances on US soil, dating back to the Honda Classic in February, has been a “hectic” period but he has relished the chance to showcase his game to a new audience.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “Even when I started, it doesn't matter if I played good or bad, I've always tried to make other people's day and try to post something funny or do something like that with social media.
Tied 9th to finish up 🤝 Super grateful for the love & support ❤️ Going across the pond to play in Europe, starting next week at the British Masters. Thanks for the great times, USA 🇺🇸 And yes, confirmed it was a 374 yard drive, saved the best one for last 😤😮💨 LET HIM COOK 👨🍳🐢 pic.twitter.com/ZUKdrLci5P— Min Woo Lee (@Minwoo27Lee) June 25, 2023
“I feel like it's been going really well because I've played well in the big events.
“I've always tried to have the motto of doesn't matter how good or bad I play, just try to make other people's day better and try to laugh about it.
“I'm doing that while playing good. So, it's quite a double-whammy and it's quite nice.”
The Belfry has proved a good venue in the past for Lee, having finished in a tie for 21st at the Betfred British Masters in 2021, while a year earlier he just missed out on a top ten at the UK Championship.
With its history as a Ryder Cup venue and being a long-standing DP World Tour venue, Lee is eager to seize the opportunity of exciting the crowds again.
“I'm really excited to be around friends and around a course where I've played before, and it's nice,” he explained.
“I really enjoy this course. I don't know how I went the last couple times I played, but you know, it was during COVID and it's quite nice to be here while COVID's not around and everyone seems happy.
“I heard about the fans, they were pretty good last year, so I'm excited to play in front of a crowd.”