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Min Woo Lee didn’t need any extra incentive to achieve his best ever major finish at the US Open.

Lee was eight shots back before the final round at Los Angeles Country Club a fortnight ago, knowing a top-ten finish would earn him a place at the Travelers Championship, as well as a guaranteed spot at next year’s major.

The stakes were raised again, however, when the Australian received a text from his childhood hero Adam Scott before his Sunday tee time.

Scott was offering Lee a ride on his private jet across the United States to Connecticut if he joined him in the field for the forthcoming $20m tournament.

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Lee has Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour, but was not due to play the Travelers and had instead planned to fly out and see his two-time major-winning sister Minjee tee it up at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol in New Jersey.

Those plans were soon scrapped at LACC.

A faultless final-round 67 earned Lee a T5 finish, a cheque for more than $730,000, and, of course, that luxury plane journey to the next PGA Tour event with a former Masters champion.

“It was amazing,” Lee beamed, speaking to at the British Masters. “I told him I’m not in unless I top-ten so I said ‘save a spot for me if you can!’ It ended up working out. His plane’s pretty nice and it was a really cool experience.”

Lee speaks effusively of the former world No.1 Scott, who has been both his inspiration and his mentor as he begins to establish himself as one of the real stars of the game.

“I grew up watching him and idolising him so it’s still surreal to me that I can just text and ask him for a practice round. It’s the same with Jason Day. They’ve been a big help ever since I’ve been out on tour.

“The way [Scott] handles himself even now, back then it must have been even more hectic being young and being one of the best golfers in the world and becoming number one. It’s good to see how he has handled all the chaos.”

Lee has won twice on the DP World Tour, but his big ambition is to replicate Scott and become a multiple winner on the PGA Tour, which he describes as “the place to play.”

He is hungry for more opportunities Stateside after his latest visit concluded with another top-ten finish in a stacked field at the Travelers.

And the 24-year-old knows he will guarantee his PGA Tour status for next season if he earns as many points as the No.125 in the non-member bracket of the final FedEx Cup Playoffs standings, which looks inevitable on current form.

“That’s the goal and I’m really excited to go and play over there more,” Lee added. “It’s been a really good year.”

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After competing in the British Masters, Lee will be part of a star-studded field at the Scottish Open, an event he dramatically won at the Renaissance Club in 2021.

But he already has one eye on The Open, where he is relishing a true links test at a baked out Hoylake in three weeks’ time.

“I’m so excited – I’m going to go out there and have a couple rounds next week on my week off,” he said.

“I really enjoy hitting that two-iron everywhere and I’ve seen the course and it’s pretty brown so I’m looking forward to playing on it when it’s pretty firm. 

“I’ve been playing really good and I feel l’m slowly building up to something big. I’m ready to win.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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