Canadian Lee eyes memorable debut at The Open | Asian Tour

Canadian Lee eyes memorable debut at The Open

Published on July 13, 2021

After a one-year hiatus, Korea-based Canadian Richard T. Lee finally makes his debut appearance at The Open this week. The two-time Asian Tour winner earned his coveted ticket by virtue of a commendable fifth-place finish at the 2020 SMBC Singapore Open.

“This is a very special week to me. It is my second Major appearance. I am lucky to still be able to play competitive golf back home in Korea prior to this week. I will continue to play the same golf as what I have been doing,” said the 30-year-old Lee.

SINGAPORE- Richard T.Lee of Canada pictured Saturday January 18,2020, during round three of the SMBC Singapore Open at the Sentosa Golf Club, Singapore. The USD$ 1 million event is co- sanctioned with the Asian Tour and Japan Tour, January 16-19, 2020. Picture by Paul Lakatos/Lagardére Sports.

Despite not being to travel outside of Korea due to the pandemic, Lee made the most of his playing opportunities over the last 12 months, notching three top-five results in 18 starts on the Korean PGA Tour.

“My preparations (for The Open) are the same as other tournaments. I have been playing a lot of KPGA events recently and I have been playing well. I am glad to finally be here for The Open and I look forward to a great week ahead,” added Lee, who previously played the U.S. Open in 2007.

Lee emerged runner-up at the 2006 U.S. Junior Amateur to earn an exemption into the sectional qualifier for the 2007 U.S. Open. He came in runner-up in the qualifier to earn his Major debut and became the second youngest golfer, at the age of 16, to tee up in the prestigious tournament.

Unfortunately, Lee did not complete the tournament as he suffered a wrist injury during the second round. He turned professional immediately after. Lee came through the Asian Tour Qualifying School in 2013 and claimed his first victory at the Solaire Open in the Philippines the year after.

His second win came in 2017 where he shook off injury woes to win by one shot over Malaysia’s Gavin Green at the Shinhan Donghae Open in Korea.

Lee missed out on his third victory at the 2019 Sarawak Championship after losing in a sudden-death play-off but was applauded for his aggressive style of play which saw him make a sensational eagle on the 72nd hole to force extra time.

He had hit a three-wood off the deck from about 275 yards before rolling in the eagle putt from eight feet. It was a magnificent shot as he had to hit a big draw around the trees to get to the green on 18. That shot was undisputedly hailed as the shot of the decade on the Asian Tour, according to a fans’ poll last year.

Lee will tee off at the Royal St. Georges Golf Course alongside fellow Asian Tour winners Jazz Janewattananond and Poom Saksansin of Thailand, Japanese duo Rikuya Hoshino and Ryosuke Kinoshita, as well as American Johannes Veerman and Brad Kennedy of Australia.