Enjoying a private lesson from Tiger Woods and overpowering Jason Day in a long drive competition are among the moments West Australian Min Woo Lee believes prepared him for golf's elite ranks.
The 20-year-old from Perth will make his professional debut among the sport's biggest stars at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Champions this week, where he is competing on a sponsor's invitation.
But the spotlight was cast on the younger brother of LPGA Tour star Minjee Lee long before the elite, $US6.8 million European Tour event which starts today.
Lee became the first Australian winner of the US Junior Amateur championship in 2016 – the highlight of a decorated amateur career which also featured 19 starts in professional tournaments.
His older sister, women's World No.6 Minjee, is currently Australia's highest-ranked golfer and, with four LPGA Tour victories, has amassed almost $US5 million in career prize money.
Lee faced ongoing comparisons to Minjee throughout his amateur years.
But the former fifth ranked amateur in the world says the hype forced him to step up his own game.
RIGHT: Lee has benefited from talking with sister and LPGA Tour star Minjee about joining the play for pay ranks. PHOTO: Michael Reaves/Getty Images.
“It made me the player that I am today; I thrived on it,” Lee told AAP from Abu Dhabi.
“I wanted to prove to myself that I'm not all talk (and) show people I can actually play at the highest level.”
Lee also created headlines in 2016 when 14-time major winner Woods gave him a 30-minute private coaching session during the prestigious Sage Valley Junior Invitational in South Carolina.
A year later, Australian former World No.1 Day visited the same event and was outmuscled by Lee during a friendly long drive competition.
“All those experiences, whether big or small, you can't just get anywhere. That help and advice has got me to where I am,” Lee said.
Lee has conditional status on the PGA Tour's second-tier Web.com circuit and will contest its Panama Championship next month as he attempts to crack the cut-throat American ranks this year.
“My ultimate goal is to get to the PGA Tour, so to play events like Abu Dhabi and on the Web.com definitely helps with exposure to players of that calibre,” Lee said.
Lee has picked the brains of his sister, who turned pro aged 18 and won her first LPGA Tour title within eight months.
“Her advice was, mostly, to stay patient,” Lee said.
“I hope to have a long career in golf, so she said don't dwell on bad shots.”
Australia's top-ranked amateur for the past 18 months, Lee also developed notoriety on social media for his powerful swing and gifted shot-making ability.
He has cultivated a large following from videos of him smashing low and powerful long iron shots called “stingers”.
Joining Lee in the Abu Dhabi field are fellow Australians Wade Ormsby, Scott Hend, Jason Scrivener, Lucas Herbert and Sam Brazel.
The event is headlined by major champions Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson.
-Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press