ABRDN SCOTTISH OPEN
Lee holds his nerve to seal play-off win in Scotland
Min Woo Lee held his nerve to collect his maiden Rolex Series title with a brilliant play-off victory over Thomas Detry and Matt Fitzpatrick at the 2021 abrdn Scottish Open.
The Australian started the day three shots behind his play-off rivals at The Renaissance Club but burst into contention thanks to birdie blitz from the third, where he picked up six consecutive shots.
Detry reclaimed the lead at 18 under at the 13th but the Belgian was desperately unlucky as the hooter sounded for a 90 minute delay for thunder and lightning as he was mid-swing for a par putt at the 14th and missed the effort to slip back.
Lee nudged back ahead with a birdie at the 16th, but the final pair followed suit to force a play-off where he only needed one extra hole to secure the biggest win of his career, Securing one of the three places to the Open Championship at Royal St George’s alongside Detry and
Englishman Jack Senior.
“It’s an awesome day, I was pretty proud of how I played. Six birdies in a row, that was sweet. It kind of happened really quick,” an emotional Lee said. “I’ve been playing really good in recent weeks and just trending, a few mistakes over the whole tournament and wasn’t able to capitalise so it’s awesome to do it here. I’ll enjoy this one.”
Senior, who held the lead after the first two rounds before a 73 on Saturday, made his move during the final round with a blistering start.
The Englishman began his ascend with five birdies on the front nine to sit alongside overnight leaders Detry and Fitzpatrick, continuing his momentum on the back nine. But a chasing pack applied pressure on the Englishman.
Lee took the outright lead after the Australian’s eagle chip on the 15th ended in a birdie to be the first player at 16 under. Ian Poulter completed a treble of gains at the 16th to sit alongside Lee but the leading Australian’s birdie trail continued with a brilliant 38 footer for six in a row to get himself back in front.
The 45-year-old Poulter finished with a birdie to set the clubhouse target at 17 under, his lowest ever final round on the European Tour thanks to a flawless 63.
Meanwhile, Lee narrowly missed a birdie putt at the 13th, while Detry and Fitzpatrick climbed to 17 under by the 11th.
Detry continued his momentum at the 13th with a brilliant second from the rough to eight feet and a birdie, but Lee burst clear after his chip at the 16th ended with a tap in birdie, his first since the blitz on the front nine, to climb to 18 under. Detry and Fitzpatrick soon joined him on the same hole for a three-way tie all the way to the 18th.
But only one extra hole was needed as a clutch approach to 15 feet left Lee with a birdie to seal victory over pars from Detry and Fitzpatrick.