x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Lee is ready to turn pro

Danny Lee, one of the most exciting amateur talents in the game and well placed to secure a respectable finishing position in his first Abu Dhabi Championship, is to turn professional.

ABU DHABI // Danny Lee, one of the most exciting amateur talents in the game and well placed to secure a respectable finishing position in his first Abu Dhabi Championship, is to turn professional after the US Masters in April. Lee, 18, is the youngest winner of the US Amateur Championship, erasing the name of Tiger Woods from the record books, and has made the most of his invitation to play in the UAE this week, standing at five under par after three rounds.

The New Zealander, of Korean descent, earned his Masters ticket on the strength of his Amateur Championship success and revealed after his one-over-par 73 on Saturday that he had decided against seeking similar invitations to the other three majors in the hope of qualifying for them by right as a professional. "It's 100 per cent now that I will turn pro after the Masters," said Lee. "I made my decision when I celebrated New Year with my family."

The teenager has enjoyed his UAE baptism, saying: "I thought Abu Dhabi was simply desert but it is totally different to what I expected. It's a peaceful place and I really like it. The National is one of the best golf courses I have ever played." wjohnson@thenational.ae