Lee leaps into record books
At just 18 years and 213 days amateur Danny Lee has written himself into the European Tour records books.
Just three weeks after Rory McIlroy became only the sixth teenager to win on the European Tour, New Zealand amateur Danny Lee has sensationally become the circuit’s youngest-ever champion.
Lee, who last year eclipsed Tiger Woods as the youngest player to capture the US Amateur title, grabbed four birdies in the last six holes to win the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth by one shot at 18 years 213 days.
That is 77 days younger than South African Dale Hayes when he won the Spanish Open in 1971, the year the European Tour was launched.
South Korea-born Lee, who will turn professional after he plays in The Masters at Augusta in April, also becomes only the second amateur winner. Spaniard Pablo Martin was the first at the Portuguese Open two years ago.
Lee went into the event 562nd in the world rankings and will move up around 400 places.
As an amateur he was not allowed to accept the first prize of just over £210,000 – that was shared by runners-up Ross McGowan, Felipe Aguilar and Hiroyuki Fujita – but he did earn himself a Tour exemption until the end of 2011.
Youngest winners in Europe:
18 years 213 days – Danny Lee (amateur), 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic
18 years 290 days – Dale Hayes, 1971 Spanish Open
19 years 121 days – Seve Ballesteros, 1976 Dutch Open
19 years 149 days – Paul Way, 1982 Dutch Open
19 years 176 days – Sergio Garcia, 1999 Irish Open
19 years 191 days – Seve Ballesteros, 1976 Lancome Trophy
19 years 267 days – Sergio Garcia, 1999 German Masters
19 years 273 days – Rory McIlroy, 2009 Dubai Desert Classic
19 years 331 days – Aaron Baddeley, 2001 Greg Norman International
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