Lee in box seat at Lake Macquarie
BY Anthony Powter | Australian Mens Amateur Tour | 2008 Lake Macquarie Amateur | Round Three | 26 Jan 2008
It will take an extraordinary effort to overtake Danny Lee and prevent the New Zealand Amateur Champion from claiming his first Lake Macquarie Amateur title. Lee has fired three rounds in the sixties with 66-67-68 to be 17-under-par. The 17-year-old Kiwi is a massive nine shots ahead of the nearest rival, Scott Arnold at 8-under.
Lee, if his current form is any indication, is set to run away with the title, and in the process claim the tournament 20-under-par tournament record, jointly held by Chris Campbell in 2002 and Englishman, Adam Gee, in 2006.
“I’ve putted well this week and that’s kept my score low,” remarked the Korean born Lee, who moved to New Zealand when he was ten.
“I’m not thinking about how far I’m in front. Tomorrow, I’ll just play normally and not worry about the others. I want to play well in these events and towards the end of the year consider turning professional.”
Talented Western Australian player, Matthew Jager, joins Michael Smyth at 7-under-par, to be jointly third. National Squad member, Matthew Griffin played well this afternoon with a round of 71 and joins Kyu Ha Sim and Danny An at 6-under-par.
The question that’s on everyone’s lips, including many of the players, is whether anyone can catch Lee?
“It’s a hard task to make up nine shots, when Danny is obviously playing well,” remarked the nearest rival, Scott Arnold, after his round of 68.
“I just have to go out tomorrow and see what unfolds. You just have to approach the round that way in the position I’m now in.”
Arnold is capable of scoring low and has the experience, following international wins in Asia and strong performances in Great Britain and America.
Belmont’s course record 63 belongs to Jason Day, after the PGA Tour player stormed home in the 2006 final round to challenge Adam Gee for the title.
If Lee is to be at all pressed in tomorrow’s final, the likes of Arnold, Jager and Griffin will need to move early and produce a similar result. Whilst the Belmont layout is conducive towards low scoring, it’s going to take a herculean effort to catch the Kiwi whiz kid, Lee.