Danny Lee shot a final-round 69 and then exited victorious from a four-man playoff to win the LIV Tucson title.
The 32-year-old New Zealander finished his final day at the famed Gallery course with four bogeys against six birdies, highlighted by a final-hole gain, to join Louis Oosthuizen (70), Brendan Steele (70) and Carlos Ortiz (65) in a playoff.
From there, it took three more trips through the 18th hole for Lee to post the only birdie of the playoff – and make his long-awaited return to the winner’s circle.
“I haven’t won since 2015. I just felt like winning is just not my thing, but today just changed that,” said Lee. “It’s just good to see I’m capable of playing some good golf again.”
For his maiden LIV Golf title, Lee took home a check for $4 million along with 40 LIV Golf ranking points. His team, Iron Heads GC, earned the bronze medal podium on -19.
Winner’s Circle: LIV Golf Tucson
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Danny Lee Pro-File
Name: Danny Jin-Myung Lee
Weight: 190 lb
Nationality: New Zealand
Birthdate: July 24, 1990 (age 32)
Native: Incheon, South Korea
Residence: Irving, TX
Turned Pro: 2009
Best World Rank: 34 (2016)
LIV Golf Invitational-Mayakoba Leaderboard
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Danny Lee -9 (-2)
2. Louis Oosthuizen -9 (-1)
2. Brendan Steele -9 (-1)
2. Carlos Ortiz -9 (-6)
5. Charles Howell III -8 (E)
6. Sergio Garcia -7 (+2)
6. Kevin Na -7 (E)
6. Matt Jones -7 (-2)
6. Mito Pereira -7 (-4)
10. Peter Uihlein -6 (-3)
10. Branden Grace -6 (-1)
10. Matthew Wolff -6 (+1)
Pos-Team-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Fireballs -25 (-3)
2. 4 Aces -21 (-11)
3. Iron Heads -19 (-4)
Top-3 Money Makers
1. Danny Lee ($4m)
2. Louis Oosthuizen ($1.58m)
2. Brendan Steele ($1.58m)
2. Carlos Ortiz ($1.58m)
Danny Lee’s Winning Stats
Driving: 316.7 yds (25th)
Fairways: 31/42, 74% (T17)
Greens: 36/54, 67% (T23)
Putts/Avg: 27.33 (T2)
Birdies: 16 (T2)
3 Questions: Danny Lee
1. How does it feel?
DANNY LEE: I mean, it feels pretty amazing. Last win I had was 2015 at Greenbrier. That was also a four-man playoff. Maybe it was a coincidence, I don’t know. But it feels pretty amazing right now.
2. The look on your face when you won was pretty remarkable. I think there was a couple people tearing up in the audience. You could really see the passion. Tell us about your day and the first putt in the playoff that didn’t go in and how you kept your mind in the game after that.
DANNY LEE: I mean, conditions were really hard out there. There was some gusts of wind and greens were getting firmer and firmer, and they put the pin on really tight spots out there.
I didn’t start off really nice. I wanted at least 1- or 2-under after the front nine, but I had a slow start at the beginning, and then Leishman was so far ahead of us, I wasn’t even looking at the individual score at the end.
I was just so caught up with the team game. I was just trying so hard to put myself in the position for team podium, which we did, and I’m just trying to prove Kevin was right — Kevin made a right decision to pick me over here.
3. I talked to Kevin, and he said that you guys had a really long chat at one point and that you called him again a few times just to make sure that you were on the right path of what you wanted to do with your career.
DANNY LEE: I mean, it was a life-changing decision. To be honest, I wasn’t getting what everybody’s like thing, like everybody is getting like $100 million, $50 million, $30 million. I wasn’t in that situation. Kevin just called me, hey, do you want to come over and play for my team.
I thought about it, and I looked at the schedule. There’s three events I really like. Tucson wasn’t in my head, but Mayakoba, I always played well there, Greenbrier, I won there, and then Singapore, Sentosa, which we’re going to come back to, I have played well there before.
Then Kevin just told me that I know you’re working hard, you’re so — he could see that my game is so close to being great, but he told me that this environment of LIV Golf is probably better for me than staying out on the PGA Tour.
The reason he told me that was probably I tend to play too many weeks in a row, and then — I mean, you can’t play great every single round. You’re going to have one bad round. On a fourth or fifth week in a row and when you have a really, really bad first round, sometimes it’s really mentally hard to grind it out for that second round to make the cut.
That kind of stuff was a little different, but here, you only have 14 events. You’ve got to make most of it, and I don’t want to let anybody down on my team.
I’ve been working so hard the last couple weeks. I never practiced that much in my life. Between me, Sihwan and Kevin, we were playing so many rounds together, range balls together, just talk about what would be the best way to get better and showing signs already.
Credits: Getty Images, LIV Golf Media