Lee fixes putting for final NZ showdown
BY Bruce Young | Web.com Tour | 2009 New Zealand Open | General | 10 Mar 2009
A putting tip from his caddy Anthony Knight might make the difference this week for young new Zealander Danny Lee. Despite some outstanding finishes in recent weeks including his brilliant win at the Johnnie Walker Classic, Lee’s putting has been a source of concern.
“My caddy Anthony told me some good tips last week at the NZ PGA and I am still working on that stroke and I am feeling a little bit better at it and more confident so it is going to be an interesting week,” said Lee in his pre-tournament press conference today. “I tried it in the last two holes of the PGA and it felt good.”
“I have put the ball more forward and I can now release the putter more and it feels really good. We had been in discussion about whether I should change my putter and even discussed the Belly Putter and he said he felt that it might be just a technique thing.”
This will be Lee’s final event as an amateur in New Zealand before he heads to the USA for the one on one Georgia Cup where he will compete with the British Amateur Champion, Reinier Saxton of the Netherlands. Then it is off to Augusta for his last event as an amateur, a start he earns as the reigning US Amateur champion.
“I would really love to play the Arnold Palmer event but my schedule is a little tight with meetings that week,” said Lee. The Georgia Cup is played over 36 holes at the Golf Club of Georgia on March 31st.
Does his last amateur event in New Zealand provide any emotion?
“I came here and practiced hard because I want to play my best and hopefully finish top five and hopefully New Zealand galleries are happy for me. I am not thinking along the lines that this is my last New Zealand tournament as an amateur as if I think like that it is going to make it worse and worse but rather that this is just another tournament.”
Lee’s ranking has improved to 144th in the world, the second highest ranked in this event after David Smail but he is aiming for much higher by the end of the year.
“I would like to be in say the top 50 by the end of the year.”
His rapid rise of late suggests that it is not beyond the 18-year-old.
Lee will take up his European Tour membership, which he gained as a result of his Johnnie Walker victory, something he must do within 14 days of turning professional.
“I don’t really care where I play as I would like to get invites to play everywhere and to play in every country,” added Lee when asked what his schedule for the remainder of the year might look like.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Lee’s press conference today was the increasing confidence he is gaining in that role. He was self assured today and answered the questions directly and without hesitation. He is a young man who has come a long way in the last month – both on and off the golf course.