And what a way to end it – after a busy last day, Lee landed the 40-foot bird kick of a lifetime to beat Thomas Peters in the playoffs to win the BMW International Open in Munich.
Screaming and shaking his fists wildly, Lee hugged his caddy before covering his face and kneeling on the lawn. Visibly overwhelmed, the golfer’s passion continued in his post-win interview.
“Where I’m at right now…it’s fucking golf, it’s just damn hard to describe,” Lee told a reporter from DP World Tour.
“10 months ago I just decided to quit golf and somehow where I am now… I had no idea I could win this playoff.
“I didn’t realize that I could be so emotional, maybe just because I never thought golf could be so difficult. After many difficult moments, I realized how nice it is to play well again,” he added.
After finishing 3rd at The Open in 2017 and winning a second DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) a year later when he edged out four-time major tournament winner Rory McIlroy in Dubai, Lee endured a fruitless race.
He missed cuts in 13 of his 16 tournament matches last year, and his joint 14th-place finish in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October was his only top 60 finish of the season. At its lowest level in 2021, it was ranked 542nd in the world.
Two top-six exits in February and April respectively provided a much better start to 2022 before Lee set a new peak by setting a brilliant 10 under 62 course record in the opening round in Munich on Thursday.
Two eagles and six birdies gave the 26-year-old the lead, and his 67th straight left Lea in the lead with three hits on the final day.
He had a brilliant start on Sunday with three birds on the first five holes, but four ghosts on the 16th hole saw his lead evaporate with three before the game. The Belgian Peters finished strongly with two birdies on the last three holes, leading to a play-off, leaving Lee to wonder if he would suffer from grief again.
“I thought I just gave it another chance and I just can’t let it happen to me again,” Lee said.
“I already knew it was going to be really hard and I just kept telling myself ‘hold on there’… luckily I did.”
As a result, Lee takes home €340,000 (approximately $358,836) in prize money.