Danny Lee reflects on last round mixture

Last updated 08:44 31/08/2009

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Golf

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New Zealand golfer Danny Lee said the only score lacking from his closing round was a hole-in-one after securing a share of 10th place at the Johnnie Walker Championship in Scotland today.

Making his maiden appearance on European soil as a professional, Lee's final effort on the PGA Centenary course included two eagles, three birdies, 10 pars, two bogeys and a first-hole double-bogey in a three-under 69.

His six-under par total left the 19-year-old lying seven strokes adrift of Sweden's Peter Hedblom who made amends for losing out in a KLM Open playoff in Holland last week to capture a third Tour victory.

Hedblom, who collected his first win on European soil, posted a final day 67 to deny fellow-Swede Martin Erlandsson who finished at 12-under after shooting 62.

Lee's colourful finish earned him 29,027 euros ($NZ61,864).

"That round had about everything except an ace," Lee said.

His poor start came after finding rough down the left side of the opening fairway from where he sprayed his second shot into rough on the right side of the hole.

Lee quickly regrouped to repair the damage when he holed a snaking 18m eagle putt at the par-five, second hole.

"I was just so mad after the first hole, and it was just a stupid mistake, so I was determined to make up for it on the second and I managed to do that, and jump straight back," he said.

Lee then holed a 6m birdie at the next before picking up three shots in two holes after draining a 20m birdie putt at the par-four eighth hole and then landing his 5-wood second shot to 5m at the par five ninth and sinking the eagle putt.

The former US amateur champion then parred his next six holes before ending his round birdie, bogey, par.

"It was a really fun week and I really enjoyed my first visit to Scotland," he said.

"It would have been nice not to have so many bogeys on the card but then everyone has been having mistakes around here.

"But overall I am pretty happy with my last round and my game has improved a lot, so I am really looking forward to next week's event in Switzerland.

"It's a new challenge for me and it's another first in my life."

Lee became the youngest champion in European Tour history in February when he won the tri-sanctioned Johnnie Walker Classic as an 18-year-old amateur, a result which earned him a two-year exemption to play in Europe and Asia.

He has spent much of this year playing on the PGA Tour in the United States courtesy of sponsors' invitations and is now looking to take up his playing rights in Europe and Asia.

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He will join compatriots Michael Campbell and Mark Brown in the European Masters starting in Switzerland on Thursday.

- NZPA

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