Chang-woo Lee of Korea earned an invitation to the 2014 Masters Tournament courtesy of his victory Oct. 27 at the Asia-Pacific Amateur. Lee took a one-shot lead in the third round and extended it to a three-shot victory over the final 18 holes.
Lee, 19, shot a final-round 1-under 70 at Nanshan International Golf Club in Lonkou City, China to pull away from chaser Zecheng Dou of China. Dou trailed Lee by one shot after 54 holes, but a final-round 75 moved him down the leaderboard to a tie for fourth.
“Playing in the Masters has been my dream since I started playing golf,” said Lee, who won the Dongbu Promi Open on the professional Korean Tour last month. “I didn’t think I would have an opportunity [to ever do so], so this is a great honor, as is playing in International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship. I have never been so excited.”
Lee turned in even-par 36 before pulling away on the back nine. He continued to battles nerves as he birdied the 12th and 15th. Lee said earning a spot in the Masters hadn’t sunk in yet.
“I have been looking at the leaderboard since the third round and I was a bit nervous,” said Lee, who is likely to climb up the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) from his current position of 31. “I just tried to keep calm and it seemed to work. I knew I was going to win after the tee shot on the 17th hole.”
Lee became the second Korean to win the championship after Chang-won Han claimed the inaugural event in 2009 at Mission Hills Golf Club in southern China. Lee is just a week removed from a tie for second with Rory McIlroy at the Korean Open.
Le and runner-up Shohei Hasegawa of Japan, who finished at even-par 284, also secured a place in International Final Qualifying for The Open Championship.
Japan’s Kenta Konishi was solo third at 1-over 285 as three played tied for fourth at 3-over 287, including Dou.
Information from the Asia-Pacific Amateur used in this report