Min Woo Lee shoots 68 in Players Championship debut despite cramp from allergic reaction
Min Woo Lee was cruising along in his first-ever round at The Players Championship — until the 15th hole.
The 24-year-old Aussie sat near the top of the leaderboard at 5 under with four holes left to play. But after hitting his tee shot on TPC Sawgrass’ par-4 15th, he immediately felt a cramp and hobbled off the tee box en route to an impressive par.
“I just swung my driver, and at the end of it I kind of overextended my calf and wasn’t the best of timing … I didn’t actually hit it that bad with the cramp,” Lee said after his round.
Through his last four holes, the world’s 50th-ranked player received work on his calf in between shots from a PGA Tour physiotherapist. Lee made birdie on No. 17, however, he closed with consecutive bogeys en route to a 4-under 68 that has him T-4, four shots off Chad Ramey’s lead.
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Lee, the younger brother of LPGA star Minjee Lee, thinks he can pinpoint why he received the cramp.
“It was kind of a funny story,” he said. “At the beginning of the week, I thought I had an allergic reaction to the electrolytes I was having, and if you don’t have electrolytes you get cramps and then I got a cramp. Yeah, I put the puzzle pieces together, and that’s what happened.”
The reaction was bad enough that Lee was doubting if he’d even be able to tee off on Thursday. Fortunately for him, it was a speedy recovery and he was even able to get in a practice round.
“I don’t want to show you my face when it was a few days ago,” he said, “but it was swollen and it was bad and lots of red. It wasn’t ideal. It got to the point where I came here on Sunday and I couldn’t even go out on the course because my eyes were half shut.”
“I’m pretty happy to be standing here talking to you guys right now.”
Now, he’s contending in his Players debut and will continue to have his calf worked on by the physio in hopes of keeping up his strong play in Round 2.