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Lee Kyoung-hoon grabs his first PGA Tour victory

Posted May. 19, 2021 07:08,   

Updated May. 19, 2021 07:08


“Being able to play in the Masters 2021 tournament seems like a big gift for me. I feel like I’m still walking in a dream,” said Lee Kyoung-hoon after grabbing his first PGA Tour victory in his 80th career start. During a virtual interview with the Korean media on Tuesday, Lee talked about the path he took and his goals down the road.

“Now there are many tournaments where I can play with this victory, not only the Masters but also competitions for only 70 to 80 players. It’s more fun and exciting now that I have new goals,” Lee said in a cheerful voice after earning the victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson on Sunday. Lee will be competing at the PGA Championship, which begins on May 20. It was unclear if Lee could participate in the tournament since he had been on the standby list.

The 29-year-old Korean golfer said he received about more than 300 messages of congratulations last night. “Legendary players such as Greg Norman and Mike Weir congratulated me on social network,” Lee said. “I was so flattered. I’m going to reply all the messages today. I’m so thankful and wish to do better,” Lee said.

Lee recalled the year 2016, when he first joined the PGA Tour, was the hardest. “I played at 15 tournaments in the year but earned only $5,000 in prize and lost a seed number,” he said. “But I took the courage to challenge again after winning the Korea Open at that time.”

Lee expressed his gratitude for his wife Yoo Joo-yeon, who is expecting their first baby in July. “We’ve travelled to almost all tournaments together. Now, she will have to stay at home after one or two more tournaments. I feel protective of her and feel sorry for her,” Lee said. The responsibility of being husband and father must have served as a driving force for his first PGA win.

Heon-Jae Lee uni@donga.com