RBC Canadian Open

Oakdale Golf & Country Club

The Loop

Danny Lee's growing pains

March 03, 2009

New Zealand's Sunday Star Times provides insights into the complexities of Danny Lee's life, as a Korean born Kiwi, who encountered trouble fitting in. He was small of stature and consumed by golf. "The clear inference is that life wasn't easy for a small Asian boy besotted with golf in a school where rugby and cricket are paramount," the story notes. "It's little wonder he might have developed a tendency to keep to himself."

When Lee, the reigning (and youngest ever) U.S. Amateur champion, began to excel at golf, the scrutiny intensified. "An off-the-cuff joke about having a bomb in his bag at Auckland International Airport resulted in the threat of police charges," the story says. "And then, at the Eisenhower Trophy team golf tournament in Adelaide, Lee played badly in his final round and was severely criticised on Radio Sport by New Zealand Golf director Peter Williams, who blasted Lee for not trying hard enough.

"The two incidents came on top of one another and sent Lee into hiding. Even NZ Golf officials were unable to track him down for a period of days and Lee later said his parents were angry at the critique.

"Once the drama died down, Lee told his home town newspaper, Rotorua's Daily Post, that to avoid any further public notoriety: 'I might get plastic surgery and change my name.'"

-- John Strege