Great news from Pinehurst, North Carolina this morning. Danny Lee will take his place tomorrow in the 36-hole final of the US Amateur Championship, without doubt the most prestigious title in amateur golf. Past winners of the event since it went to its present format in 1979 include Mark O'Meara, Phil Mickleson, Justin Leonard and three-time winner Tiger Woods, all of whom have gone on to win majors in the professional ranks. Others include Hal Sutton, Scott Verplank, Billy Mayfair, outstanding PGA Tour players, and/or Ryder Cuppers. Go back further, and the Havemeyer Trophy contains names such as Jack Nicklaus, Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, and the greatest amateur of them all, Bobby Jones.
So Lee will set out against Drew Kittleson of Scottsdale, Arizona in a bid to become the youngest ever winner of this event. He has played a lot of golf in the last week. He made his debut on the PGA Tour last weekend, and finished in a tie for 20th against some of the best professional players on the planet. Unfortunately, making the cut and playing on the weekend at the Wyndham meant that Lee missed out on on a practise round at Pinehurst! He then went straight into the two strokeplay qualifying rounds, then to matchpaly - meaning that by tomorrow, he will have played competitively for eleven days straight. Fortunately, he has managed to dispatch his matchplay opponents inside the distance - yesterday was the first time he's been taken to the 16th hole before winning!
The golfing world is at Danny Lee's feet. He now has an exemption into next year's US Open (as an amateur) and a highly probable invite to the Masters. A win tomorrow will also get him an invitation to the 2009 Open Championship. Still a student of Rotorua BHS, he is playing against be best college (university) golfers in the US - and taking them to the proverbial cleaners.
Keeping Stock wishes Danny Lee well for tomorrow. The Korean Kiwi is one of our hottest prospects, the best product yet of an outstanding golf programme yet at Rotorua BHS - Kia kaha, kia toa, kia manawanui Danny!