During the World Amateur Team Championships in Adelaide, Australia, New Zealand's Danny Lee was presented with the Mark H McCormack Medal to commemorate his achievement in finishing the 2008 season as the world's top-ranked amateur golfer.

The medal, which was presented by Mark McCormack's son Breck, is awarded to the best amateur golfer at the end of each season, that is immediately following the US Amateur and European Amateur championships.

Lee's extraordinary season of golf has left him well clear at the top of the World Amateur Golf Ranking as well as earning him exemptions to next year's Open Championship, US Open and a likely invitation to the Masters.

The 18-year-old, who was born in Korea but moved to Rotorua with his parents when he was nine, started his climb up the rankings early in 2008, with a series of victories in New Zealand and Australia. As the northern hemisphere summer began, Lee went across to the US to play in several tournaments and ended up winning both the Western Amateur and the US Amateur championships, the two biggest prizes in American amateur golf.

In between those performances Lee played in the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour, where he shot four rounds in the 60s to end up tied for 20th place.

"I am extremely honoured to receive this award," he said after winning the medal. "It is a fantastic end to a great season of golf for me this summer.

"It is very rewarding for me to be the number one amateur golfer in the world. I have worked very hard over the past years and it is fantastic to have it pay off so well and have it recognised so widely."

Lee, who represented New Zealand in the World Amateur Team Championships in Adelaide, Australia, will remain an amateur for the foreseeable future, not least to be able to enjoy the exemptions to three Major championships in the 2009 season.

"I am overwhelmed," he said. "It is so exciting to play in those events.

"I am looking forward to the experience and I am sure I will learn a lot. It is what I have dreamed of for a long time: to play Major championships."

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