18 Could 2022: In-form Korean star Ok.H. Lee remembers the enduring second when countryman Y.E. Yang triumphantly carried his golf bag over his head after producing one of many nice upsets in main golf historical past on the 2009 PGA Championship. Lee will tee it up with Tim Feenstra and Anirban Lahiri simply after 1100am native time.
Anirban’s greatest main consequence got here throughout his breakthrough season in 2015, when he completed T5 at Whistling Straits. He returns to main motion for the primary time because the US Open in 2019. Anirban performed his final PGA Championship in 2018 and can be making his seventeenth main look when he tees off with Lee and Feenstra on Thursday.
Anirban is on a strong run. He completed second in THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, his greatest consequence on the PGA TOUR. In his final 5 begins, he has two high tens and two high twenty finishes. He was T13 on the Texas Open, T15 within the Mexico Open and achieved a T6 within the Wells Fargo Championship within the first week of Could.
Pushed by the inspiration from Yang, Lee and Lahiri are actually dreaming of manufacturing their very own main second.
Per week after repeating as champion on the AT&T Byron Nelson for his second PGA TOUR victory, Lee, 30, tees up within the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Thursday feeling buoyant forward of the 12 months’s second main.
He’ll spearhead a robust Asian problem which is able to embrace the likes of Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, India’s Anirban Lahiri and fellow Koreans Si Woo Kim, a three-time PGA TOUR winner, younger prospect Joohyung Kim and Yang.
“It’s all the time thrilling to play in a significant. Second time profitable, I really feel I can deal with my feelings higher. I really feel the whole lot is in fine condition. My coach, Chris (Mayson) has helped get my recreation again on monitor and my placing was about nearly as good because it’s ever felt. I’m very excited, I really feel like I’m as much as the problem this time,” stated Lee.
This can be his sixth look in a significant which he has but to make a weekend reduce however the method wherein he efficiently defended his Byron Nelson title the place he held off the likes of Jordan Spieth with a profitable combination of 26-under 262 has given him an enormous dose of confidence.
Three weeks in the past, Lee began working once more with Mayson and his psychological coach, and employed a brand new caddie as nicely and the consequence was for all to see. He additionally put his outdated two-ball putter again in his golf bag which has labored like a appeal.
Lee has vivid recollections of Yang taking Tiger Woods down in a memorable head-to-head duel some 13 years in the past at Hazeltine to ship Asia’s first main winner. “I don’t fairly keep in mind what I used to be doing then when Y.E. received the PGA, however what I do keep in mind was him hoisting his golf bag,” recalled Lee, who at present sits in twenty eighth place on the FedExCup standings.
“I hope I can do one thing that thrilling. It confirmed lots of pure pleasure. I don’t know if I’ve that in me however I assume we’ll discover out. Hopefully once I win a significant, I can do one thing thrilling as nicely. He’s positively opened the door and paved the best way for us youthful era Koreans and it positively provides me confidence in realizing Y.E. has received the PGA Championship. After which, we had Hideki profitable the Masters final 12 months and it’s useful for me transferring ahead.”
Lee performed in his first PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island after profitable the Byron Nelson 12 months in the past however missed the midway reduce, largely attributable to fatique following an extended week at TPC Craig Ranch which endured climate disruptions. He is aware of Southern Hills will pose a real take a look at of ability and character and he’s as much as the problem.
“The truth that we don’t need to journey that far, simply going up the street to Tulsa, I really feel like it’s going to assist me,” he stated.
“I obtained to play 9 holes at the moment (Tuesday), and it’s an important golf course and simply fitted to a significant championship. You need to drive it nicely particularly with the Bermuda tough and lots of greens are slanted a sure manner. You positively need to preserve it under the outlet and also you don’t need to be over the inexperienced. With the wind probably kicking as much as 30mph this week, you’re simply going to overlook greens. Having good contact across the greens can be key. You simply have to drive it on to the golf green and lacking it in the appropriate spots are going to be key to enjoying nicely this week.”