Danny Lee

    Danny Lee

    Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)

    Weight: 168 lb (76 kg; 12.0 st)

    Birthday: 24 July 1990

    College: –

    Year turned pro: 2009

    Birthplace: Incheon, South Korea

    Country: New Zealand

    Sponsor: –

    Danny Jin-Myung Lee was actually born in South Korea but moved, with his parents, to Rotorua in New Zealand when he was eight years old. It was here that he attended Rotorua Boys’ High School. When he won the US Amateur Championship in 2008, at the age of 18, Lee was the youngest person to have done so at that point, although this record has since been broken. From August 2008 until April 2009, Lee was World Number One amateur, during which time he won the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia, which was a professional tournament. This led to him being the youngest winner on the European Tour.

    After turning professional in 2009, Lee signed a sponsorship deal with Callaway Golf which was said to be worth $1 million per year, although this figure has never been confirmed. During the PGA Tour season Lee was permitted to use seven sponsor exemptions. He also gained three other starts due to previous amateur titles. Lee hoped to earn $537,958 which would mean that he could have temporary membership and also unlimited invitations. He didn’t earn enough money over the season to earn his card for the 2010 season.

    As a result Lee began to give more focus to the European Tour, in addition to playing some events on the Asian Tour. In his first start on the European Tour, Lee finished in a tie for tenth place. At the PGA Tour qualifying school, Lee did not finish high enough on the first stage level to progress to the next stage. After this failure Lee blamed his lack of success on a combination of illness, a change to his swing and cold weather. He also announced that he was going to concentrate more on playing on the European Tour, as well as announcing that he had enlisted the services of a new coach, Suckki Jang. Despite this change, Lee continued to achieve only limited success.  

    Lee’s form continued to need improvement at the start of 2010 when he made the cut in only two of his first nine starts on the European Tour. Later that season Lee announced that he had both a new caddy, Peter Coleman, and a new coach, Bill Choung. Lee also stated that he felt his swing was finally right. Despite this assertion, Lee later stated that he no longer had a swing coach and that he was going to spend more time focusing on playing the game than on changing his swing.

    At the PGA Tour qualifying school, at the end of that season Lee got through the first two stages and finished in a high enough position in the final stage to be able to play on the Nationwide Tour for the following season.

    After this, Lee began to return to some form. This included a second place tie at the Volvo China Open, a tie for fifth place at the Stadion Classic at UGA and a third place position at the BMW Charity Pro-Am. Despite a break from competition, due to a tendonitis problem in his wrist, Lee continued to achieve success throughout the rest of the season. This success included a win in October, at the WNB Golf Classic in Texas. This was an important part of the season for Lee, as his fourth place position in the money list, meant that he was guaranteed to be in the Top 25 at the end of the season, securing his card for the PGA Tour.  At the end of the season Lee actually finished in sixth place on the money list, with earnings of $326,100.

    Although Lee began the next season with cards to play on both the European Tour and the PGA Tour, he announced that he would be concentrating on playing in the US. He did not do successfully, making the cut in only 13 out of 26 tournaments he played. As a result he failed to secure his PGA Tour card for the following season. Lee did not play at all on the European Tour that season. Lee was also introduced to another potential coach, Steve Bann, at this time.

    In 2013 Lee played on the Web.com Tour, and he finished the season in 15th place on the money list, which meant that he regained his card for the PGA Tour for the following season.  

    As of the end of 2014, Lee was yet to achieve a win on the PGA Tour, but he had amassed total prize money of $1,612,253.