• The Kiwi had share of the lead until hiccup on 18
• Is donating money for every birdie he makes this week
DANNY LEE | SCOTTISH OPEN
New Zealander Danny Lee rued a lost ball double-bogey at the last to miss out on a share of the lead at the Scottish Open - but hopes the birdies continue to flow as part of a generous fundraising effort.
The PGA Tour star, who was meant to be defending his Greenbrier Classic title this week, announced on Wednesday that he will be donating $500 for every birdie and $1,000 for every eagle he makes at the Scottish Open towards the relief effort in the area around the PGA Tour venue – which was cancelled last week after horrendous flooding.
And, after making five birdies in his opening round of one-under-par, the Kiwi is hoping they keep coming in what ishis first Scottish Open appearance since 2011.
"It's very unfortunate what happened back there," said Danny Lee. "A little bit upset that I couldn't get to defend my title at Greenbrier but I'm actually more worried and upset that a lot of people are going through a tough time in West Virginia area where Greenbrier Classic is. It's just very unfortunate to hear that. But I made quite a few birdies out there with these conditions, so very happy with that.
"A lot of the times, after I hit a shot, I didn't know where it went. I almost lost my mind out there. I guess that's why I came here early to get used to all the conditions out here before the British Open. I think one-under is still one heck of a round with this wind."
Lee is two behind leaders Felipe Aguilar and Scott Hend – both of who were out in the more favourable conditions this morning – while Graeme McDowell is among a cluster of seven players on two-under-par including Andy Sullivan and 2009 US PGA champion Y.E. Yang.
“I’m pretty happy with it,” said McDowell, who had been critical of Castle Stuart in 2011. “It was a bit of a battle out there at times. Wind strength certainly increased as the day went on. Holes like 18 up on top were very, very exposed and one, two and three were tough also.
“It was very tough to get the ball close to the hole, I was doing a lot of long-range putting and the greens were slow.”
Former world No.1 Luke Donald, a shot further back, added: “I was happy with that score. It's been a while since I've played in a wind that strong. There were some really challenging holes, downwind and into the wind. It was hard to stop it downwind, and obviously into the wind was a challenge as well. I was pretty happy with that. I putted the ball pretty well today.”
Elsewhere, Scot Craig Lee is sitting alongside Danny Lee at one-under-par, while Russell Knox, David Drysdale, Jack Doherty and Richie Ramsay all shot level par.
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