Danny Lee finds himself in the rough ... again

JONATHAN MILLMOW
Last updated 05:00 08/05/2012
Danny Lee
Getty Images
OFF HIS GAME: Danny Lee has raised eyebrows with his latest disqualification on the PGA Tour. The 21-year-old signed for a score lower than he recorded on a hole at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina.

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Danny Lee is raising flags instead of hitting them.

For the fourth time in the space of 37 tournaments, New Zealand's leading golfer has DNF next to his name.

Lee was disqualified at the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina at the weekend for signing an incorrect card.

The PGA website noted that the 21-year-old made the rare error of signing for a score lower than he recorded on one hole.

It continued a trend of falling foul of the rules, something that could soon catch the attention of officials.

Although disqualification is a black mark, there was at least an upside this time as it came at no personal cost because he was destined to miss the cut after his second-round 79 plunged him down the leaderboard.

Lee was not so fortunate in April last year at the Maybank Classic in Malaysia, when signing an incorrect card cost him his 13-way share of 17th and 19,000 (NZ$32,000) in prizemoney.

In between his disqualifications in Malaysia and North Carolina, Lee was still having his troubles.

At the Soboba Classic in California late last year Lee was disqualified for improper withdrawal after he walked off the course without notifying officials. He was bothered by a wrist injury and pulled the pin after nine holes.

Three months ago a stomach ailment led to his withdrawal 12 holes into his second round at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Riveria, Mexico. This time he pulled out after a quadruple bogey ruined his chances of making the cut but correctly informed officials and so was recorded as a withdrawal.

Lee could not be reached for comment yesterday.

His former coach, Steve Jessup (2006-2009), the club pro at Wairakei International, rejected suggestions Lee might be inattentive or a poor sport.

"It is not within his nature to be a bad sport," Jessup said. "In general, his sportsmanship to other people is very good. He is hard on himself, he is not a bad sport."

Lee has played 12 tournaments in his first full year on the PGA Tour, for earnings of US$126,673. He has made six cuts, with a best finish of 25th at Pebble Beach in February.

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