U.S. Junior Amateur Championship

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Min Woo Lee

Quick Quotes

THE MODERATOR: Min Woo, can you tell us about being the champion and what that feels like.

MIN WOO LEE: It feels great. I'm down in history on the USGA Junior trophy, so it feels really good. It's probably the best I've ever felt.

It's a dream come true for me. I've always wanted to win this tournament. I was in good form coming into it. I knew I had a good chance. Yeah, it feels great to win and be on the trophy with names such as Tiger and all the great names. Yeah, it feels good.

Q. Tiger is your hero. What was your emotion when you looked at his name on the trophy?
MIN WOO LEE: It's awesome. I saw him a few months ago and that kind of boosted me. That kind of got me motivated to win a few more tournaments coming into this tournament, just because obviously if you see someone great -- and everything he says, you have to take it in; that's what I did.

Yeah, it feels really good to be on the same trophy as Tiger. Yeah, it's great.

Q. It's been ten years since Australia has won a USGA championship when Geoff Ogilvy won. Obviously you know that name. What does that mean to you to accomplish that?
MIN WOO LEE: Oh, it's great. Like Australian golf, it's great. We have rising talent coming up and it's great for Australia. I did it to represent them, and it means a lot just because, yeah, you're representing your country. It means a lot.

Q. You had to make two big time putts after weather delays. What was the mindset in both cases? You came through in both cases.
MIN WOO LEE: I just -- I was kind of tired just before the rain delay, and that kind of eased me down. The rain delay eased me down.

I had a few minutes to like come together and just I guess think about the putt and think about where I missed the other putts that I've had kind of similar to that putt.

So I missed a few low, so I thought I would hit it a bit higher. It went just right in the middle. Me and Reed did a good job on reading the putts coming in. Yeah, it was just a momentum booster, the first one was.

And then the second one, that just gave me like so much confidence for the 17th hole. It was set well.

Q. We've talked about the possibility all week. Now it's reality with your sister and you. You are the junior champion. How does that feel?
MIN WOO LEE: It feels good. That's probably the biggest achievement that we've got. It's awesome to be the only brother and sister to win the same championship. That just means a lot. I'm lost for words. It's history, so it's the very first. It's just crazy to think about that we both won the same tournament. Yeah, it's wonderful.

Q. You're the first Australian to win the junior...
MIN WOO LEE: Really?

Q. Yeah. Talk about Golf in Australia.
MIN WOO LEE: They've helped us a lot, our coach Ricky Smith, coach for Western Australia. It's probably -- golf in Australia is looking very good. They're in safe hands, and what they're doing right now is very good in the junior and amateur. They help us and fund us. Yeah, they're wonderful.

Q. (Indiscernible.)
MIN WOO LEE: Yeah, I saw him on the first hole and it meant a lot. I knew there was (indiscernible) Houston, and, yeah, it means a lot for him to come out and watch me. I didn't think that I would know anyone back at home to come.

Yeah, it meant a lot. It kind of just set me in a little and it was good for him to come out. I thank him a lot for coming. It was great for him to come out there.

Q. You never lead until the afternoon. What was it like trailing for a good part of the match?
MIN WOO LEE: I guess it was good and bad in a different way. It's kind of good because I have to play well to get in front of him, and that's what we did.

Yeah, it's obviously bad when it comes to the later holes if you're down. I knew I had to stick my head out and just do what I've been doing every single day. Yeah, me and Reed did a great job on every shot.

Every shot we did was precise. Although some shots weren't precise, it was just great to have reassurance. Yeah, it was great to hit good shots coming down the stretch.

It means a lot to win the trophy and hole a few putts coming in. Yeah, that's just a big momentum booster for me going into a few events.

Q. (Question regarding 16, the par-3.)
MIN WOO LEE: Same thing. Me and Reed, we hit 5-iron in the morning and that went six feet past. We knew that I had adrenaline pump, I had a bit more oomph in me. I knew that 6-iron would be the perfect club.

Just the same shot: high draw going into that hole and turned out perfect. Pin high; 18 feet left. That meant a lot. Holing that putt was even better just because we were square, and that get me to 1-up with two to play.

I knew I had an advantage on 17. Yeah, it turned out well. I hit a good drive and hit kind of a good iron second. But, yeah, I had a great chip and great putt. Yeah, that was good enough, I guess. Yeah, we both just reassured each other and we knew that 6-iron was the club.

Q. (Indiscernible.
MIN WOO LEE: Yeah. Definitely. I knew it was getting close to the championship. When I was out there and me and Reed were down, a little down just because we lost the hole, it's kind of like eye opening because it's a U.S. Junior. It's the biggest junior tournament in the world. It means a lot.

I didn't come here to come second, so I knew I had to just grind it out. We both grinded it out really well and it turned out well.

Q. How were the practice rounds last weekend?
MIN WOO LEE: I played one practice round. Yeah, the week before I played, but there was a lot of golf.

Q. So 18 in a practice round, if you allowed yourself to count how many holes...
MIN WOO LEE: I know it's a crazy amount. Yeah, it's great how we ended it. It's a dream come true. All those holes, they don't really matter anymore. It's all part of the process, I guess.

I guess I get to hold the trophy now, so that kind of -- that just kind of eases it down. It's wonderful to win the biggest junior in the world.

Q. (Question regarding all the good players he had to go through this week.)
MIN WOO LEE: Yeah, definitely. We played great golf today. Just, yeah, we were rock solid. Some matches I had to play safe to win a match, but this match specifically I had to play great to win. I had to play good on each hole. Every hole I won I needed to make a birdie or par.

So, yeah, we both got the best out of us.

Q. What memories will you take from this course?
MIN WOO LEE: Many. It's the best course I've ever played. Obviously I've won the U.S. Junior. It's just good memories to have. If I come back next or whatever, I wouldn't think of anything bad or there is anything bad. Just really good. Really great.

Q. What's different about this course than the ones you grew up on?
MIN WOO LEE: It's just great. It's a great match play course. Just like the history behind it as well. It's just a very good course. It's challenging in every way. The greens, they're slopey, very precise.

I knew the USGA would put the pins in precise spots, such as 17. In the morning I hit a great shot in, but I was 30 feet going down a hill, and I knew -- me and Reed knew it was going to be a tough putt.

That's what's special about this course. You have to leave it in proper spots and not just hit it up on the green. Yeah, it's a Championship course. It's a great course. It's just very different to any course really.

It's just great in every way.

Q. Tiger Woods is your hero; you mentioned that. You have a similar shot to his stinger with your 2-iron. How did you develop that and did you copy him?
MIN WOO LEE: No, I didn't copy him, but I got a few notes from him a few months ago on how to hit a stinger. I had a tournament and he had a clinic and showed us how to hit a stinger. That kind of clicked. My brain clicked on a few things when my misses were left and right. What he said at the clinic kind of just, yeah, kind of just clicked. I took everything he said with the stinger.

Q. So relatively a new shot?
MIN WOO LEE: Yeah. I've used it a while, but this week I've probably hit it the best. I knew I had an advantage because it came out low and also like with the run, so I nearly hit it as far as some other guys hitting 3-woods or drivers. It was a big advantage.

Yeah, it came in handy.

Q. Last one from me: Now that you're into the U.S. Amateur next month, what are your plans? How did you feel about playing in that championship?
MIN WOO LEE: Yeah, it was an honor to play in this championship, but being in the U.S. Amateur, it's another whole level. It's the best amateurs in the field, so I know I have to play even better and prepare even better for that tournament.

Yeah, means a lot to play U.S. Amateur. This is my first U.S. Junior. How I performed was awesome. I know I can do it in the U.S. Amateur, if even if I win or lose.

How I'll go before the U.S. Amateur, I'm not sure if I'll go back to Australia or stay here. I booked flights already to Australia, but the flight is very long. It's kind of exhausting.

Yeah, I would love to be back home with my dad and my friends. Yeah, it'll be great to go back home and sleep on my bed.

Q. (Question regarding dogs.)
MIN WOO LEE: Definitely Labrador. That is number one. (Indiscernible) family, they have five or six, and that's like a dream come true. One day if I do get rich I'm going to buy a lot of dogs and they're going to be Labradors and maybe a few other dogs. Definitely Labradors. They're awesome.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for your time and congratulations on your championship.

MIN WOO LEE: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #179 at 2016-07-23 22:31:00 GMT

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