Richard Lee will forever be the first man to shoot a 59 in competitive golf in New Zealand. The 35-year-old, who achieved that feat at the 2010 Carrus Tauranga Open, knows how to go deep. But as he returns to the Japan Golf Tour in 2012 Lee is focused on improving the consistency in his game.
The man dubbed Ali, after his initials R Lee, qualified for the Japan Tour last year and has made the cut in four out of seven events so far in 2012.
His best result is a tie for 26h place at the Token Homemate Cup – the opening event of the season.
When he comes home Lee is a regular competitor on the Charles Tour and in 2010 he finished runner-up to Michael Hendry in the Muriwai Open.
Lee, who trailed Hendry by one shot down the last, made a fine birdie to make the North Harbour pro match his birdie for the win. That finish showed Lee’s ability in the clutch moments.
When he is on his game, as shown by his 59 and a recent 62 at the Muriwai Golf Club, he can shoot the lights out.
It takes a special mental hardness to keep attacking when you are deep in the red numbers to see how low you can go but it’s something Lee feels he has learned over time.
”For me there's nothing better than going deep,” said Lee.
“These rounds just happen. I used to get to five or six under and start feeling the pressure and drop shots coming in. Now I seem to have broken through the barrier.”
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