Australia’s Lee sweeps to victory at Macao Open golf tournament

2023-10-16 03:02     Comment:0

World No. 46 Lee Min Woo of Australia recorded an exceptional two-shot wire-to-wire victory in the US$1 million SJM Macao Open golf tournament yesterday, for his first title in two years.

Earning a cheque for US$180,000, Lee once again combined power with precision at the event, skillfully adding a seven-under-par 64 to his opening 62 for a three-shot lead.

The tournament’s marquee player hit crushing drives and holed putt after putt to card an eight-under-par 63 for an astonishing four-round aggregate of 30-under, a new tournament record and two short of the Asian Tour record, although preferred lies were played on the first two days.

“I love it,” said the 25-year-old, who opened with rounds of 62, 64 and 65. “I played wonderful, really flawless golf for a lot of the holes. There were only a few holes that I could really look back on. But yeah, I’m really proud of the way I handled myself.”

Lee’s score smashed the event’s previous lowest winning total of 20 under, set by Australian Scott Hend in 2015 and was just two short of the Asian Tour record, which Thailand’s Chapchai Nirat set at the SAIL Open in 2009 in India.

Thailand’s Poom Saksansin also fired a 63, like Lee bogey-free, and finished second after a fascinating final day dual between the big-hitting Australian and the tenacious little Thai golfer, hoping to replicate one of his giant-killing acts of the past.

For Poom it was yet another fine performance coming off the back of his success in the Yeangder TPC last month and a joint third placing in last week’s International Series Singapore.

Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai closed with a 64 to finish in sole possession of third while Chinese Taipei’s Lee Chieh-po, finishing with a 63, and Miguel Tabuena from the Philippines, who shot a 65, tied for fourth.

The tournament was sponsored by integrated resort operator SJM, which owns 13 of Macau’s 30 casinos.

– Xinhua, MPD

This handout photo taken and released by the Asian Tour yesterday shows Min Woo Lee of Australia celebrating with the winner’s trophy of the Macau Open at the Macau Golf and Country Club. – AFP

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