Min Woo Lee.
Celebrations were "medium" says Australian PGA winner Min Woo Lee ahead of the dual-gender Open. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS
  • golf

Lee back to work chasing unprecedented golf double

Darren Walton November 28, 2023

No letting up, Min Woo Lee has placed the champagne on ice as golf’s new superstar chases a “crazy” Australian Open title double with his dual major-winning sister Minjee.

Lee electrified the galleries following his every shot en route to a storming three-stroke victory at last week’s Australian PGA Championship at Royal Queensland.

But despite donning his chef’s hat on the party hole No.17 to kick-start celebrations early on Sunday, Lee – now famous for his “Let’s Cook” social media mantra – resisted the temptation to go too hard with the coveted Stonehaven Cup next on his menu.

“There was nothing too serious,” he said when asked how he celebrated his fourth professional tour victory and third on the DP World Tour.

“Again, work to do this week. After my win in Macau (last month) I went pretty hard after that win and had Zozo the week after, so I thought I didn’t get the best preparation for that week.

“So I’m learning from those experiences. I just had I’ll say medium – not quiet, not massive, just right in the middle.

“Good enough to celebrate but not enough for a hangover, so I’m ready for this week.”

Minjee Lee and Min Woo Lee.
 Minjee Lee and brother Min Woo talk to the media ahead of the 2022 Australian Open. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

Even with 2022 British Open champion Cameron Smith teeing up, the Lee siblings have fast become the headline act at the second dual-gender Open being co-hosted by the neighbouring Australian and Lakes golf clubs in Sydney.

While admitting he retained a “petty” brother-sister rivalry with world No.5 Minjee, who remains the most accomplished golfer in the family by some distance, Lee said he’d love nothing more if both could get their hands on the trophies on Sunday.

“It would be nice if I have the winning throne for the end of the year, obviously because we’ve got a few weeks off until the new season starts,” he said.

“But it would be nice for both of us to win the same week. It would be pretty crazy. We’ve won back-to-back weeks, but on the same week would be something else.”

Something unprecedented in world golf, in fact.

But Lee quite rightly pointed out, going on history, it will need to be him not Minjee who may have to keep up his end of the deal.

Two years ago, Minjee landed her maiden major, the Evian Championship a fortnight after Lee won the Scottish Open for his first DP World Tour victory.

Then last month, Minjee won the BMW Ladies Championship in Korea the week after her brother went wire to wire at the Macau Open.

“She’ll probably win this week. If you’re going off trends, she normally wins the week after,” Lee said.

Min Woo Lee.
 Min Woo Lee is keen on representing Australia at the Olympics, just like his sister Minjee has done. Image by Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS 

After climbing to a career-high world No.38 on Monday, Lee says gaining a place on Australia’s two-man team for next year’s Paris Olympics is another huge motivator this week.

The 25-year-old is now Australia’s third-ranked male player behind world No.20 Smith, who can’t accrue rankings points on the LIV Golf tour, and No.21 Jason Day, whose Games intentions remain unclear.

“That is definitely a big goal. It’s gotten closer since last week with the world rankings getting better,” said Lee, who will play Thursday’s first round at The Lakes with Smith, then the second round at The Australian.

“The Presidents Cup was one of the big things and now the Olympics is an even bigger thing.

“Representing Australia would be an honour. My sister got to play in it a couple of times and it looked so special, so I’ll be very keen to get on that team and play for Australia.”