Lee has Tiger on his sight

SEASONED: Danny Lee of New Zealand blasts the ball on the 17th fairway in the final round of the Johnnie Walker Classic at the Vines Resort in Perth, Australia, yesterday. 17/02/09. © AP.
SEASONED: Danny Lee of New Zealand blasts the ball on the 17th fairway in the final round of the Johnnie Walker Classic at the Vines Resort in Perth, Australia, yesterday. 17/02/09. © AP.

SYDNEY - If confidence counts for anything the sky is the limit for New Zealand teenager Danny Lee after his stunning victory in yesterday's Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.

SYDNEY - If confidence counts for anything the sky is the limit for New Zealand teenager Danny Lee after his stunning victory in yesterday's Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth.

The 18-year-old had already caught the attention of the golfing world last year when he eclipsed Tiger Woods as the youngest US amateur champion, and yesterday's win at the Vines Resort in Western Australia was even more impressive.

In difficult conditions, Lee came through a high-quality field to capture his first professional title and become the youngest ever player to win a European Tour event.

Despite his tender age, Lee already plays like a seasoned professional. He hits the ball long and straight, has a tidy short game, can hole clutch putts and controls his emotions under pressure.

Inevitably, he has drawn comparisons with Woods and although he has no intention of challenging the American's amateur records, he does have the world number one in his sights.

Lee said after his win: "All I want to do is just break what he's done... (and be) the next Tiger Woods."

Lee will line up against Woods at the US Masters in Augusta after securing his invitation by winning the amateur title last year.

Lee may also play in the same group as Woods at the US Open but has to remain an amateur to take up the offers.

Lee turned down the cash he was entitled to after his victory yesterday to play as an amateur at the Masters but plans to turn professional later this year.

He was born in South Korea but moved to New Zealand with his family as a child and later joined New Zealand Golf's high-performance unit.

Lee only took out New Zealand citizenship last year. He plans to return home next month to play the New Zealand PGA and New Zealand Open before heading to the the Masters. - Reuters

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