Australian golfer Min Woo Lee (pictured left) is on a mission to become the number one golfer in the world, and it would be no surprise to see him achieve the feet.
Lee is currently ranked number 34 in the world, making him one of five Australian players who are currently in the top 50 of the standings.
Winning a major would undoubtedly accelerate Lee’s bid to become world number one, although recent history suggests that may be easier said than done.
Cameron Smith was the last Australian player to win a major after claiming a sensational victory in The Open Championship at St Andrews in 2022.
His success was the first time an Aussie golfer had won one of the big four tournaments since Jason Day won the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits seven years earlier.
Backing Australians to win golf majors has largely been a route to the poor-house in recent years, but things could be about to change if Lee has his way.
A measure of the progress he has made in recent times can be garnered by a quick look at the latest outright odds to win the Masters Tournament at Augusta in April.
Several leading betting websites worldwide have cut Lee’s odds into 25/1 following his impressive victory in the Australian PGA Championship in Brisbane last month.
The 25-year-old stormed home by three shots ahead of his rivals, and the manner of his performance had sports bettors believing he can be a future major winner.
Lee tied for fifth place at the 2023 US Open and was in the final pairing on his Players Championship debut before eventually finishing sixth – results which suggest he could soon break the glass ceiling.
“I’m really close to doing well in the big majors and tournaments,” Lee said. “A couple of times I let it slip. I’m really excited. I can’t wait for those majors - I’ve found my craft and I’m starting to mature into it.”
Lee’s confidence in his ability does not appear to be misplaced despite him narrowly missing out on completing a memorable double in the Australian Open earlier this month.
He was one of the bookmakers’ favourites to win the tournament and looked well-placed to get the job done after opening up a three-shot lead at the halfway mark.
However, he was unable to recover from two early bogeys on the final day and eventually finished third behind Joaquin Niemann and Rikuya Hoshino.
“Putts didn’t go my way and I didn’t hit it good enough,” he said. “But I thought I scrambled really well. I think the positives out of that, I made up and down from literally everywhere.
“It’s not good enough to win a tournament, but it’s been a really good year. I’m pretty proud of the way I’ve finished and celebrations begin today.”
Having moved himself within touching distance of the top 30 players in the world, Lee is now well on course to firmly establish himself in the upper echelons of the sport.
Overhauling the world’s top players will not be easy, but Lee is confident he can achieve the feat. When asked how high he could go in the sport, he insisted that anything is possible.
“Limits? I don’t think so,” Lee said. “I’ve proven to myself I can play really good and win. No limit. I want to be the number one player in the world. It’s still a long way away, but I’m on the right track.”