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Got to play hurt

Masters 2024: Min Woo Lee has a broken finger, but there ain't no way he's withdrawing from Augusta

April 10, 2024
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AUGUSTA, Ga. — For just about every golfer, amateur or professional, an invitation to play in even one Masters Tournament is a dream come true. So when it actually happens, it is safe to assume any normal human is going to make every effort to make it to the first tee. Few, though, have ever taken that compulsion and that desire further than Min Woo Lee will do this week.

Working out in the gym last week, the 25-year-old Australian suffered an injury to the ring finger on his right hand.

“I dropped a dumbbell on my hand,” he said. “I was just doing like a side bridge glute thing, and it was literally my last rep, last set thing, and I threw the dumbbell down and somehow clipped my right ring finger. So I went to the doctor and I thought it was OK because I could move it. It was just red. I thought it would be fine. Then they came in and said, 'you've broken it.’”

Still, bad as that sounds, Lee, a former Scottish Open champion who qualified for his third Masters as one of the world’s top-50 ranked players at the end of 2023, was able to play nine holes Tuesday alongside compatriots Jason Day, Adam Scott and Cam Smith. All of which did at least lessen the “anxiety” Lee was feeling about his ability to play and compete over the coming days.

“This is the first time telling the public,” he said to Australian AP. “We didn't know as a team to tell or to not, and I felt like I should tell people because there was a lot of pressure on me playing well. But you can hear it from my voice: I'm not 100 percent yet. Other than that, I actually feel very all right. Could have been a lot worse. I'm pretty happy to be standing here, especially after playing nine holes and giving it 100 percent.”

Further incentivizing Lee, of course, is the fact that his older sister, Minjee, is already a major champion. Nothing motivates like a sibling rivalry. So Min Woo will definitely be teeing-up Thursday at 10:06 a.m. (weather permitting) alongside Patrick Cantlay and Rickie Fowler.

“Honestly, it's actually amazing how fast the recovery was,” he further explained. “It was bruised, still swollen, but not actually that painful which is really strange. Somehow I'm recovering very good, so icing and elevating as much as I can. And yes, I still went to the gym last week as much as I could. Obviously didn't do that exercise. Every time I looked at that 20-pound dumbbell, yeah, gave it a death stare.”

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