Springfield Golf Club's finest export will once again lend his support to the annual tournament held in his name in Rotorua this weekend.
The Danny Lee Springfield Open is being held for the 15th consecutive year and has been supported by the professional golfer for more than a decade. Lee has fond memories of his time growing up in New Zealand where he won bundles of tournaments and titles, including the Springfield Open.
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"Things have changed a lot for me since I left my friends at Springfield to pursue my dream as a professional golfer," Lee said from his United States base where he is currently preparing for the PGA Tour season recommencement.
"I'm now married and a daddy to two which brings me much joy."
Prior to Christmas he sat in the top 20 players after two strong showings.
Lee rose to be the world's number one amateur while he learned the game in Rotorua as a member at Springfield and attending Rotorua Boys' High School.
"I still love playing golf on the PGA Tour and the challenge of looking after my family through golf was really helped by my time learning the game in the Bay of Plenty and New Zealand.
"I will never forget that experience and my family and I are proud to keep our connection to Springfield and Rotorua golf through supporting the annual tournament which I also played as a youngster."
Tournament secretary Angela Bunn said Lee and his family's continued support for the January tournament was an outstanding contribution which the club worked hard to honour every year.
"As a club this is our big event of the year and I'm proud to say we still hold true to the vision of Danny that this tournament provides an opportunity for young players to cut their teeth in tournament play.
"Danny was a permanent fixture at our club, working so hard to improve the game which has him now taking on the world's best players across the world.
"To see him playing regularly on the world stage really emphasises what hard work and dedication can turn into … he's an inspiration to many of us but more importantly he inspires the next generation of golfers from New Zealand to work hard at their games and aim for the big stage."
Last year, after dominating on day one and struggling with strong winds on day two, Te Puke's Harry Hillier became the third University of Kansas student to take the top prize at the tournament.
Sherwood Park 16-year-old Hye Won Choi won the women's division - both overall winners had been runner-ups at previous Danny Lee Springfield Opens.
The 54-hole event starts on Saturday with 36 holes, with the final 18 holes being played on Sunday.
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