Young West Australian golfer Min Woo Lee has all but secured a European Tour card in his first pro season – but it hasn't been all rainbows and sunshine to get there.
The 20-year-old has climbed to 71st in the Tour's Race to Dubai points’ standings following a tie for 23rd at the Andalucia Masters in Spain at the weekend.
The top-110 players will earn full rights for the European Tour in 2020, and Lee's team believes he has already done enough to secure that after playing nine events and making eight cuts.
Lee only turned professional in January, and posted two top-five finishes in his first four events to get the ball rolling.
Lee initially had his sights set on trying to join the PGA Tour, but he now believes he will be best served by plying his trade in Europe first.
Lee has been thrilled with his first year as a professional but said he had also been confronted with many challenges.
"You've pretty much gone from not making anything to making money, and distributing that," Lee told Inside The Ropes podcast recently.
RIGHT: Lee has made eight of nine cuts on the European Tour this year. PHOTO: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
"But it's tough. It's not all sunshine and rainbows, which I thought it was and what a lot of amateurs think.
"It's a tough road because of the travel. You're in hotel rooms every week. As an amateur, I stayed at people's houses and had that company all the time.
"Travelling by yourself, you need to get used to (being alone).
"The phone becomes your best friend, because other pros want to do their own things.
"There's been a lot of friends on the European Tour who have wanted to have dinners, and that's made it better. But the hardest part is being lonesome in a way."
Lee won the US junior championship as an amateur, and has his sights set on becoming World No.1 one day.
But he concedes his sister, current World No.4 Minjee Lee, will likely beat him to the post.
Min Woo Lee is currently ranked 299th in the world.
- Justin Chadwick, Australian Associated Press