'Ready To Cook' - Min Woo Lee Eyeing Up Fast Start With Full-Time PGA Tour Status

Min Woo Lee has had a whirlwind nine months since his final round at The Players in March last year

Min Woo Lee of Australia speaks to the media prior to The American Express
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Min Woo Lee says he is "ready to cook" as he eyes up a first start at the American Express to make up for lost time without full-time PGA Tour status.

The charismatic Australian burst onto the scene at last year's Players Championship when he played in the final round alongside World No.1 Scottie Scheffler. Lee tailed away to a T6 finish after a disappointing final round but cemented his fan-favourite status in the process.

The 25-year-old played seven further regular PGA Tour events in 2023 but now returns to US shores with a full-time card after a terrific winter which saw him win the Macao Open and Australian PGA Championship.

Reflecting on his whirlwind last nine months, Lee said: "I always talk about the Players and that final round. I think that's when I really got exposed to the American audience. It was amazing and I'll always look back at it.

"I wish I could have played a little bit better, but also made the most of it. Looking back at photos, that was a really special time. My social media's blown up and I probably got 250,000 people on Instagram since that time."

With a Tour card sorted, the World No.37 is not content to hang around. His next aim is to play his way into the signature events which come thick and fast in the coming months. 

Lee will miss out on the chance to play at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to attend his manager's wedding but is bullish about his chances of making it into the field for the Genesis Invitational in February.

"Hopefully, I play good enough that my ranking might be 31 and I can get into Riviera and crush it there," he said. 

"To start the year with these two upcoming events [American Express and Farmers Insurance], Waste Management, and hopefully Riv, if I play well, would be a good start to the year. [I'm] Ready to cook."

Min Woo Lee holds up the Australian PGA Championship trophy

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's also a change in Lee's apparel this week, with the Australian set to debut a new look in California after he signed an apparel deal with Lululemon ahead of the new season.

"I saw people wearing Lululemon, and it sort of caught on to me, six months to a year ago," the Australian said, explaining the move. 

"My deal was ending end of last year, so my manager got talking to the guys at Lululemon. It's exciting. It's one of the biggest companies in the world. I get to be some part of the designing process of it, which is incredible. 

"I still think I'm a little kid from Perth, just playing golf. So, it was very cool to be there last week in Vancouver and talk with the designing team and everyone there."

Lee gets underway on Thursday alongside Tom Kim at 12.58pm ET.

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.