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Masters 2022: Augusta rookie went from bathroom break to spectacular eagle in record-tying front nine

April 10, 2022

Min Woo Lee acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green after finishing his round during the final round of the Masters.

Gregory Shamus

AUGUSTA, Ga. — In America, Min Woo Lee is probably best known as being the brother of LPGA Tour player Minjee Lee. At 25, his sister already has six wins, including capturing her first major in 2021 at the Evian Championship.

Min Woo Lee, 23, has a fine career going in his own right, with two DP World Tour victories. And together, they have the distinction of having won their respective U.S. Junior Amateurs.

On Sunday in the Masters, Min Woo Lee pulled off something that his sister won’t have a chance to ever match. In his first Masters appearance, Lee made an eagle at the par-5 third and four straight birdies to cap the front nine and tie the record for best opening half with a six-under-par 30.

Six players before Lee shot the score, and they are sizable names: Johnny Miller (1975), Greg Norman (1988), K.J. Choi (2004), Phil Mickelson (2009), Gary Woodland (2014) and Tony Finau (2019). Only two of those—Norman and Mickelson—came in the final round.

Lee had a colorful story about what happened at the second, where he hit his approach to three feet for the eagle putt.

“It just happened so quick,” he said. “Poor drive on 1, made a good 10-footer for par. Needed to go to the toilet. Smacked my drive [at 2]. Ran to the bathroom. Got down there, and I hit an 8-iron in, which is unreal. Hit it just over the bunker, near those sprinklers just over the bunker, and it went to three feet. Then it happened really quick. Just nice—hit really good shots on the front nine.”

Unfortunately for Lee, the back was a dark shadow of the front. He bogeyed 10, 11, 12 and 13—so that’s eight straight holes without a par—and made another bogey at 16 before nabbing a birdie at 17. That’s a 30-40 for two-under 70.

Lee, who got into the field by being the 49th ranked player in the world at the end of 2021, finished at two over for the tournament and tied for 14th. That was one shot out of automatically receiving an invitation to the Masters next year.

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