New Aussie Olympic pairing for Paris

U.S. Open - Round Two
Min Woo Lee will represent Australia at the Olympics. Picture: Roos Kinnaird/Getty Images/AFP

Min Woo Lee booked his ticket to the Paris Olympics where he will play with sister Minjee on the Australian team after Cameron Smith failed to make the inroads needed in the final round of the US Open.

Smith needed a miracle at Pinehurst No.2 to jump more than 30 places on the world rankings to usurp Lee in the final event before Monday’s qualification cut-off.

But while both carded back-to-back rounds over par across the weekend, Lee’s one-over final round propelled him to a third top-30 major finish this year, while Smith went backwards.

The Queenslander shot a two-over 72 to finish on seven-over, equal with fellow Aussie Adam Scott in a tie for 32nd. They were the only three Australians to make the cut.

Jason Day, the highest-ranked Aussie at world No.21, didn’t make the weekend at the US Open but will be Lee’s Olympics teammate having made his commitment to go to Paris.

Lee was fitted out for an Olympic uniform during last year’s Australian Open in Sydney and had made it clear one of his major goals for 2024 was to get to Paris.

“Representing Australia would be an honour,” he said recently.

“My sister got to play in it a couple of times and it looked so special, so I’ll be very keen to get on that team and play for Australia.”

Minjee and Min Woo Lee will both be at the Olympics. Stef King/TWAM
Minjee and Min Woo Lee will both be at the Olympics. Stef King/TWAM

The cut-off date for women’s Olympic qualifying is June 24, but Hannah Green and Minjee Lee will again wear green and gold, as they did in Tokyo, both sitting in the top 10 on the world rankings. Grace Kim lost her chance for a massive rankings push by blowing a five-shot final-round lead at the LPGA tour event.

The pairing of Lee and Day in Paris will be make them the fifth and sixth male representatives at the Olympics. Scott Hend and Marcus Fraser played for Australia at Rio in 2016, while Smith and Marc Leishman played in Tokyo.

Minjee Lee will head to the Olympics for the third time.

The lack of Australian success at the US Open continued an 18-year drought.

No Australian has won the US Open since Geoff Oglivy joined David Graham (1981) on the honour board in 2006.

Two-time runner-up Day, along with Cam Davis and Jason Scrivener, missed the cut this week.