Golf: Stunning finish gives Australian Lee Min Woo halfway lead at Asia-Pacific Amateur C'ship

Australia's Lee Min Woo takes a one-stroke lead on seven-under 135 after the second round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand on Oct 27, 2017.
Australia's Lee Min Woo takes a one-stroke lead on seven-under 135 after the second round of the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand on Oct 27, 2017.PHOTO: ASIA-PACIFIC AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - His frustration boiling over after missing a short par putt on the 300m 15th hole, a pep talk from his coach Ritchie Smith was just the jolt Lee Min Woo needed during the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship's (AAC) second round on Friday (October 27).

The 19-year-old responded with back-to-back birdies before draining a 20m eagle putt on the 497m, par-five 18th to shoot a three-under 68 and take the halfway tournament lead on seven-under 135.

Lee said: "We were struggling a little bit before that, feeling a little low, but he (Smith) gave me a kick on. We looked at the leader-board and I was only a few back, and he said you know, just a couple more birdies can get you in the lead. I just used his words and it turned out well."

China's Lin Yuxin also had a spectacular finish as he holed out from 80m for an eagle on the closing hole. The 17-year-old from Beijing shot 67 and is second on 136.

He said: "I'm hitting well, putting well, chipping well so I'm pretty confident right now."

Overnight leader Shae Wools-Cob had opened with a 63 but struggled to maintain that form. He shot 74, which included four bogeys on the back nine, and was third on 137.

Lee's impressive comeback at the Royal Wellington Golf Club in New Zealand was unsurprising given his pedigree.

He became the first Australian to to win the US Junior Amateur Championship last year and even outdrove compatriot and former world No. 1 Jason Day in a long-drive competition during a junior clinic in April.

Lee's older sister Minjee, 21, is a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour.

Lee said: "I've struggled throughout the year, but I just sorted out a few things with my swing, and my ball striking off the tee is just better than usual."

The AAC, which awards the winner a spot at 2018 Masters and British Open, will be staged at the Sentosa Golf Club next year.

Only two of Singapore six-member team survived Friday's cut (set at 148) which reduced the field from 116 to 62 golfers.

Gregory Foo (70, 144) and Abdul Hadi (74, 145) progressed to the weekend while team-mates Jesse Yap (70, 149), Joshou Shou (72, 149), Low Wee Jin (76, 150) and Joshua Ho (75, 152) all miss out.

Foo, who closed with consecutive birdies, said: "I felt like I got some good momentum with the birdies and I'm hitting the ball better than yesterday too.

"I know based on the scores I'm behind but I think I can go out tomorrow morning and shoot a good score."