Eddie Lee heads invites for NZ PGA

BY iseekgolf.com | Web.com Tour | 2005 New Zealand PGA Championship | General | 20 Jan 2005
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Asian tour professional Eddie Lee is looking to exorcise the demons of the last two years when he tees off in the ING NZ PGA Championship at Clearwater from February 24 to 27. In 2003 and 2004 Lee, having started on the 10th, was comfortably inside the cut coming to the last two holes in his second round and put his tee shots into the water on both holes on both occasions. Lee is one of 10 invitees announced by the PGA of New Zealand.

Shane Scott, Lee’s coach and bagman on both occasions, suggested he might ask his protégé to retrieve the balls from their watery grave this year if he repeats the feat. “The last two years have been the biggest learning curve of Eddie’s life and he has acquitted himself superbly. People quickly forget that he has just turned 21. He is still a very, very young man with the golfing world at his feet.”

“It is a whole different experience when you play for money and you are rated by the dollars you earn, not your potential. Add that to the quality of the fields, the travel, adjusting to the fact you might be playing in India one week, Korea the next and Singapore the next. You also have to learn how to deal with the disappointment of missing a cut, or consecutive cuts. When Eddie won in Korea as an amateur, it gave him a two-year exemption two years in which to find his feet.”

“He has retained his card for 2005, many didn’t, and continues to learn more about the game. We just have to find a way to conquer eight and nine at Clearwater on the second day to go through to the final rounds,” Scott joked.

Lee has a busy schedule leading into the ING NZ PGA Championship. He is off to the Singapore Open this week, then plays in the Heineken at Royal Melbourne, is not sure about the New Zealand Open as he needs an invite, plays the Malaysian Open the week after that and then heads straight back to Christchurch for the ING New Zealand PGA Championship.

“What Eddie has learned in the last two years will pay dividends in the next two, I have no doubt,” Scott said.

The other eight players are:-

1. Peter Smith (NZL) – 2004 NZPGA Club Pro Champion
2. Tony Christie (NZL) – 2004 NZPGA Order of Merit Winner
3. Mark Brown (NZL) – 2nd – 2004 NZPGA Order of Merit
4. Stuart Thompson (NZL) – 3rd – 2004 NZPGA Order of Merit
5. Glyn Delany (NZL) – 4th – 2004 NZPGA Order of Merit
6. Ben Gallie (NZL) – 5th – 2004 NZPGA Order of Merit
7. Brad Heaven (NZL) – NZPGA Sponsor Invite
8. Eddie Lee (NZL) – NZPGA Sponsor Invite
9. David Gossett (USA) – NZPGA Sponsor Invite
10. Barry Cheesman (USA) – NZPGA Sponsor Invite

David Gossett is a previous winner on the main USPGA Tour – winning the 2001 John Deere Classic – and has USD$2.2 million in career earnings since turning pro in 2000. He remains a fully exempt player on the USPGA Tour as past champion.

The ING New Zealand PGA Championship is a co-sanctioned event between the PGA Tour of Australasia and US PGA Nationwide Tour. The field will comprise 78 from the US PGA Nationwide Tour, 68 from the PGA Tour of Australasia and 10 sponsor invitees.

Source – NZGA

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