18 Might 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 finest 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 will likely 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 finest consequence on the PGA TOUR. In his final 5 begins, he has two prime tens and two prime 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 Might.
Pushed by the inspiration from Yang, Lee and Lahiri at the moment are 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 yr’s second main.
He’ll spearhead a robust Asian problem which can 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 serious. Second time successful, 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,” mentioned Lee.
This will likely be his sixth look in a serious which he has but to make a weekend lower however the method through which he efficiently defended his Byron Nelson title the place he held off the likes of Jordan Spieth with a successful mixture 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 presently sits in twenty eighth place on the FedExCup standings.
“I hope I can do one thing that thrilling. It confirmed plenty of pure pleasure. I don’t know if I’ve that in me however I suppose we’ll discover out. Hopefully after I win a serious, 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 offers me confidence in realizing Y.E. has received the PGA Championship. After which, we had Hideki successful the Masters final yr and it’s useful for me shifting ahead.”
Lee performed in his first PGA Championship at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island after successful the Byron Nelson 12 months in the past however missed the midway lower, largely because of fatique following an extended week at TPC Craig Ranch which endured climate disruptions. He is aware of Southern Hills will pose a real check of talent and character and he’s as much as the problem.
“The truth that we don’t must journey that far, simply going up the highway to Tulsa, I really feel like it’ll assist me,” he mentioned.
“I acquired to play 9 holes at present (Tuesday), and it’s an excellent golf course and simply suited to a serious championship. It’s important to drive it nicely particularly with the Bermuda tough and plenty of greens are slanted a sure approach. You positively need to hold 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 will likely be key. You simply have to drive it on to the green and lacking it in the fitting spots are going to be key to taking part in nicely this week.”