Min Woo Lee.
Min Woo Lee can book his tickets to Paris for the Olympics. Image by AP PHOTO
  • golf

Golf star Min Woo Lee to join sister at Paris Olympics

Darren Walton June 17, 2024

Min Woo Lee will join his superstar sister Minjee at the Paris Olympics after continuing his own irresistible rise to global fame with another fine US Open display in North Carolina.

Lee backed up his joint-fifth last year with a tie for 21st at Pinehurst No.2 to finish as the top Australian once again and secure his Games spot alongside the resurgent Jason Day.

Ineligible for rankings points on the LIV Golf tour, Cameron Smith needed a big finish at the season’s third major championship to jump ahead of Lee in the world standings before Monday’s Olympics cut-off deadline.

The 2022 British Open champion and one-time world No.2 finished with a flurry with three late birdies but a final-round two-over-par 72 was never going to be enough.

After finishing equal sixth at the Masters, Smith had to settle for a share of 32nd spot at seven over par, some 13 shots behind American winner Bryson DeChambeau.

Lee’s three-birdie, two-bogey 71 earned the West Australian his eighth top-30 finish from 11 major championship starts.

Most significantly, the 25-year-old is off to the Olympics for the first time next month.

“It’s unbelievable to represent Australia,” Lee told AAP at Augusta National.

“When you’re a professional, you don’t really get to represent the Australian side.

“Obviously week in and week out you represent Australia (on the PGA Tour) but, when you’re an amateur, I got to play for Australia a lot of times.

“So I do miss putting on the green and gold. That will be really special.

“My sister is going to be in there too, so it will be an unbelievable experience.”

Minjee Lee
 Siblings Min Woo Lee and Minjee Lee will be Australian teammates at the Paris Olympics. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

As Australia’s top-ranked player at world No.21, Day is also chuffed to be heading for his first Olympics after opting out in 2016.

The former major champion was world No.1 when he chose not to travel to Rio de Janeiro during the Zika virus when his wife Ellie was pregnant with the couple’s first child.

“I think I made a bit of a mistake not going down to Rio,” Day confessed to AAP at Augusta.

“Even though part of it was family-related, I kind of missed out on that, and I probably should have gone.

“I’m looking forward to going.”

Fellow former world No.1 Adam Scott ruled himself out of the Games running earlier in the year.

But the veteran showed his class once more with a closing round of one-under 69 at Pinehurst to join Smith in equal 32nd spot in his remarkable 92nd consecutive major championship appearance.

A two-time women’s major champion, Minjee Lee will be heading to her second Olympics after finishing tied for 29th in Tokyo three years ago.

The 28-year-old will again team up with Hannah Green, who was fifth and just two shots out of a medal in Japan.

Green, 27, has since surged above Lee in the rankings to world No.5 after a two-title 2024 season thus far – the best of any player aside from reigning Olympic champion and world No.1 Nelly Korda.