While plenty of golf fans felt the 2023 U.S. Open left a bit to be desired thanks in no small part to the fairly underwhelming nature of Los Angeles Country Club, we were still treated to four days of some pretty thrilling action courtesy of the guys who vied for position near the top of the leaderboard.
Rickie Fowler and Xander Schauffele recorded the lowest single-round score in the history of the tournament during their first 18 holes before cooling off a bit, and plenty of other players (including eventual champion Wyndham Clark) rose to the occasion over the course of the major.
That includes Min Woo Lee, who headed into the weekend tied for sixth place at -6 but essentially found himself out of contention for the trophy with the 72 he recorded on Saturday to drop to -4.
However, he was able to bounce back during a stellar final round where he headed into the clubhouse at -5 for the day and the tournament, which was enough to ultimately secure a tie for fifth and the $738,934 check that accompanied the finish.
That also ensured the 24-year-old Australian would receive an invite to The Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, and Golf Digest reports he had to change his itinerary after initially planning to head to New Jersey to watch his sister Minjee compete at the Women’s PGA Championship.
Lee told the outlet he also got some extra motivation ahead of his final round courtesy of fellow countryman Adam Scott, who gave him some major incentive to surge on Sunday by texting him to let him know he’d be able to travel to Connecticut in style by taking the trip on the latter’s private jet if he was able to finish in the top 10.
While that offer may not have been the primary reason Lee was able to step up his game, he acknowledged it meant a lot to him, saying:
“It was a really cool feeling for Adam to do that for me; he’s been a good mentor in my career. I grew up watching him win the Masters and now he’s become a friend. It’s special.”
That’s the kind of friend you want to have.