Lee, the No. 1-ranked amateur golfer, could be charged for his actions 10 days ago, New Zealand Golf said Thursday. He was with the New Zealand team that was boarding a flight to Adelaide, Australia, to play in the Eisenhower Trophy world team championship.
New Zealand Golf chief executive Bill MacGowan confirmed Lee made an inappropriate comment to check-in staff. Lee was allowed to board the flight.
It was a throwaway comment, but it was said in the wrong place, MacGowan added. They talked to him at the airport. They had a conversation with him about it and it is still being dealt with.
MacGowan said he did not know what Lee said. Passengers regularly are charged under New Zealand aviation security laws for joking about bombs or firearms.
Calls to Lees home and cell phone were not returned Thursday.
Lee won the U.S. Amateur title at Pinehurst, N.C., in August, beating American Drew Kittleson 5 and 4 in the 36-hole final on the No. 2 course.