Golf: Lee renews pledge to Bay Open


Danny Lee will continue to give back to New Zealand Golf with confirmation the 2013 Springfield Open will again be sponsored by the country's top ranked professional golfer.

Springfield Golf Club captain Mike Dragovich said it was wonderful news to hear Danny and his family had again committed to the legacy they had started in Rotorua where a young Danny learned much of his game.

"Danny and his family have never forgotten their time here in Rotorua with us and this is their chance to give to a new generation of golfers while supporting our club," Mr Dragovich said.

The Springfield Open has been running for seven years and this is the fifth year it has carried Danny Lee's name.

"Their generous support allows us to put on a high-class amateur golf tournament where players get great value for their entry and the under-23 players are subsidised through Danny's pledged support," he said.

The 54-hole Danny Lee Springfield Open will take place on January 11-13 next year.

The championship proper will be played on 36 holes on Saturday followed by 18 on Sunday.

It's estimated the prize table value will be in excess of $10,000.

Entry forms can be found online at www.springfield.co.nz. For further inquiries email springfield@golf.co.nz or tournament media contact Craig Tiriana (021) 2777341.

Lee has missed qualifying for the PGA Tour in La Quinta, California, by one shot.

In the final qualifying event, 172 players competed for only 25 places on the PGA Tour in 2013.

The 22-year-old professional carded a two-under par 70 at the Stadium Course in the final round of the six-round event to come up just short in a five-way share of 27th place.

If Lee had qualified it would have been a fitting conclusion to a remarkable comeback.

The former US Amateur Champion, who had opened with rounds of 72 and 75 to be in a share of 150th place, played the next four rounds in 19 under par to give himself a chance of returning to the PGA Tour.

But the former World No1 amateur will return to the web.com Tour in 2013 and play the occasional event on the PGA Tour with conditional status.

Lee will rue the double bogey he made on the par-five fifth that was the difference between qualifying for a full card. He made two birdies coming home on the 11th and 16th but it was not enough.

He was not alone as Manawatu professional Tim Wilkinson counted a day of missed opportunities.

The former PGA Tour pro, who also began the final round only one shot back from the qualifying mark, lost momentum with a one-over 73 in the sixth round to slip back to be tied on 49th.

Wilkinson finished on a 13-under total to miss the cut by four shots and, like Lee, will return to the web.com Tour.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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