ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Tiger Woods helped teach Min Woo Lee to hit the stinger shot. And, in a way, Woods helped wake up Lee ahead of his early tee time in Round 1 of the 150th Open Championship.
Lee was in the first threesome out Thursday on the Old Course, playing at 6:35 a.m. local time. That meant a 4:30 a.m. wake-up call
Lee explained that he set his alarm appropriately and went to bed at 8:30 p.m. He even tried to give himself some good dreams ahead of his opening round.
“I was watching Tiger in 2000 St. Andrews, winning here, before I slept. For some reason, at 4 in the morning – I [had] closed the laptop and it started playing when it was closed. So, I don't know what was going on. It woke me up at 4 o’clock,” Lee said.
“But it was like Tiger holing a putt or something. It was funny. Left at 4:45 and just had a quick breakfast and got going. I was a bit late for my warm-up.”
It didn’t seem to bother him too much. Lee eagled the par-4 third hole and had another eagle at the par-5 14th, on his way to a 3-under 69.
One of Lee’s favorite shots to use, especially on links courses, is the low-riding stinger. He said he learned that from Woods himself during a 2016 clinic at Sage Valley.
This Thursday proved much better than a week ago, when Lee opened his title defense at the Genesis Scottish Open in 77. He missed the cut at Renaissance and doesn’t have a top-10 this year on either the PGA or DP World tours.
This was a positive step. One he hopes will lead to continued steps in the right direction.
“It's a long way to go. But, actually, making a cut, I'll be happy with actually making a cut,” he said. “And that's not the mentality. But I am just trying to find something right now. It's been a bit of a struggle this year. So I'm trying."