Lucas Lee getting ready to tee of at the 11th hole in a practice round for the PGA Valspar Championship.
Golf Sports

Lucas Lee has Championship aspirations at Copperhead

Canadian Tour graduate is playing in the Valspar Championship this weekend

PALM HARBOR, Fla. – Former Canadian PGA Tour star Lucas Lee has his sights set on painting a masterpiece at Copperhead this weekend.

The Brazilian born golfer tees off at 8:51 a.m. Thursday at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort, which boasts a prize purse of $6,100,000.

Born to parents of South Korean descent, Lee finished in the top 25 of the Tour money list and earned his first PGA Tour card for the 2015-16 season.

“It’s my first year, yeah, I’m a rookie,” the mild mannered pro said after he finished practicing from a greenside bunker during a round of golf on Tuesday afternoon.

Brazilian Lucas Lee poised to paint a masterpiece at the PGA Valspar Championship.
Brazilian Lucas Lee poised to paint a masterpiece at the PGA Valspar Championship. (Phil Jones / Toronto Observer)

Lee expressed no fear despite not winning on the Canadian circuit.  He had five runner-up finishes, losing to future northern PGA Tour star Graham DeLaet in 2009 at the Players Cup.

Is he intimidated playing at the highest level of golf at a prestigious event counted towards the coveted Tour championship?

“No, not really,” Lee said. “Just ready to tackle this event.”

A fellow player of South Korean pedigree, K.J. Choi, has flourished at the Valspar Championship,  winning in 2002 and 2006.

“K.J. Choi, yes, he loves this place,” Lee said as he made his way over to the tee box on the 11th hole.

On the horizon, the No. 1-ranked player in the world, Jordan Spieth, was set to tee off in front of a large gallery for a practice round.

The world No.1-ranked golfer Jordan Spieth tees of on 18 during a practice round at Copperhead on Tuesday.
The world No.1-ranked golfer Jordan Spieth tees off on 18 during a practice round at Copperhead on Tuesday. (Phil Jones / Toronto Observer)

Spieth, Lee and many other notable pros were out at Copperhead on Tuesday attempting to navigate the new turf and pin alignments.

“I think it’s very challenging.  Overall, it’s very narrow,” Lee said just before grabbing a driver from his caddie. “So you’ve got to hit very good tee shots.  The greens, you have to watch for the slopes on the greens, and of course the rough is pretty thick, so, I think it’s a pretty good test overall.”

Thursday morning provides a blank canvas for the optimistic rookie who is looking to use his clubs like a brush and paint some new PGA history thanks to the success he earned on the Canadian tour.