Sports Outside the Beltway

Move over Michelle Wie Part VII

Danny Lee just became the youngest winner in European Tour history

U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee birdied the final two holes for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke victory Sunday in the Johnnie Walker Classic.

The 18-year-old New Zealander, set to turn pro after the Masters, had a 17-under 271 total on The Vines Resort’s composite course.

“It feels like I’m dreaming at the moment,” Lee said. “I won lots of amateur tournaments before and the U.S. Amateur, but this is a totally different feeling. It’s a pro event. All I wanted to do is make the cut and play well and get in the top 20. But I played extremely well today, and I won it.”

Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita (67), Chile’s Felipe Aguilar (68) and England’s Ross McGowan (70) tied for second in the event sanctioned by the European, Asian and Australasian tours. The second-place finishers all shared in the $298,000 that Lee would have collected if he was not an amateur.

Lee is the first amateur to win on the Australasian PGA Tour since Brett Rumford in the 1999 ANZ Players Championship at Royal Queensland. The last amateur winner of a European tour event was Pablo Martin at the 2007 Portuguese Open.

Lee was born in South Korea, moved to New Zealand at age 8, and has been a citizen of that country since last year. If not for his amateur status, Lee could have been a threat to make the International team in the President’s Cup matches.

The Constructivist at Mostly Harmless is also blogging on Lee’s victory. He thinks Asian or Asian-American men are beginning to catch up with their female peers.i At this point, I disagree. The male golfers while good, don’t have the depth the female side of the chart has.

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