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Lee signs coach with Tiger connections

Published: 9:36PM Thursday October 29, 2009 Source: NZPA

New Zealand golfer Danny Lee has signed with a Korean-born coach he hopes can lift his game to higher level.

Suckki Jang has worked with world No 1 Tiger Woods' coach Hank Haney for over 20 years, having previously taught college golf at the University of Cameron in Oklahoma.

Lee met Jang in Texas last week and while competing at what proved to be an unsuccessful bid at the first stage of qualifying for a 2010 US PGA Tour card.

According to Haney's website, Jang specialises in a complete analysis of body alignment, swing plane, impact and ball flight. He has also has written several books and short game manuals with Haney.

Lee announced his new relationship after carding an even-par 71 on the first day of the Singapore Open on Thursday.

"I've only been with Suckki for the one week and while he's from Korea, he's been working in the States for a long while," Lee said.

"I met him for the first time a week before last week's first stage of Q-School and it was a decision I reached with the help of my parents.

"I've never really had a coach and we thought that now that I am moving into a big ocean I need to have a coach in order to start displaying more consistency out here when I am competing."

Noticing the benefit

Lee said he had already started noticing the benefit of Jang's influence both in the physical and mental elements of his game.

One of Lee's major concerns has been a hook that sometimes creeps into his driving game.

In just over a week of working with Jang, Lee said he is not as worried when standing over the ball.

"The left hook has always been my big mistake but now I am standing over the ball not fearing that type of shot," he said.

"I am thinking of a lot of things Suckki has told me to work on and they will take time before I am fully comfortable but I very pleased to be working with Suckki.

"And I feel given that I have only been with him for over a week, level par in my first big tournament is not a bad effort.

"I still had a few bad shots but also some good shots, and I also missed some birdie putts."

Five strokes behind

Lee managed one birdie and one bogey on the Sentosa Resort course, leaving the 19-year-old trailing five strokes behind England's Ian Poulter.

Poulter buried any memories of his bitter withdrawal from the $US5 million ($NZ7.1 million) event a year ago to finish his round one stroke ahead of South African Ernie Els and Taiwan qualifier Yih-Shin Chan.

The flamboyant Poulter withdrew last year without playing a shot after he was unable to find a replacement driver following the theft of the club after competing at a tournament in Shanghai.

Poulter continued to lead when a mid-afternoon thunderstorm halted play.

Meanwhile, Lee's New Zealand colleagues again struggled, with Michael Campbell and Mark Brown signing for respective scores of 76 and 78 respectively.

Included in Brown's round was three birdies but also just as many double bogeys.

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