Danny Lee, New Zealand
2008-2009 – World number one for 34 weeks
Lee holds the distinction as the first New Zealander to occupy the number one spot on the World Amateur Golf Ranking®. He also shares membership of a unique club with two other players.
Lee made history in 2008 when he became the youngest player to win the U.S. Amateur Championship. Lee supplanted Tiger Woods as youngest champion when he defeated Drew Kittleson 5&4 at Pinehurst. Lee was just 18 years and one month old. Lee became the first Kiwi to win the title, and remains the only New Zealander to lift the prestigious trophy.
The U.S. Amateur victory helped Lee, who was born in Incheon, South Korea, reach the top of the WAGR® table. It also enabled him to finish the season holding the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s leading amateur for 2008.
The 2009 season saw Lee become the European Tour’s youngest winner when he bettered the professionals to win the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia. He was just 18 years 213 days old. Lee joined Spain’s Pablo Martin as the second amateur to win a European Tour event. Martin won the previous season’s Estoril Open de Portugal. Reigning Open champion Shane Lowry joined this elite club when he won the 2009 Irish Open.
Lee has spent much of his professional career on the PGA Tour. He has one victory on that circuit, winning the 2015 Greenbrier Classic, an achievement that helped him place ninth in the FedEx Cup standings. He also has three second-place finishes and in excess of $13 million in career earnings.
Fourth place in the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open saw Lee reach 36th on the Official World Golf Ranking, his highest ranking. He is currently 88th.
Andrea Lee, United States
2015 and 2019 – World number one for 17 weeks
Lee was a standout at Stanford University while playing college golf. She won nine times in four years, breaking the previous women's golf record of eight. She played in two Curtis Cups, 2016 and 2018. The 2018 match saw her contribute two points out of a possible three to help the United States regain the cup.
Lee first reached world number one in 2015, and regain the number one spot in 2019. In fact, she earned the 2019 Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s leading amateur for that season.
The Los Angeles native has an amateur record many will envy apart from her time at Stanford and Curtis Cup appearances. She was a Rolex Junior All-American First Team player for four straight years from 2012 on the American Junior Golf Association circuit. She played in the two Junior Solheim Cups, 2013 and 2015, and played in the 2014 Junior Ryder Cup. She was runner-up in the 2016 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship and U.S. Junior Girls’ Championship.
Last year she reached the semi-finals of the U.S Women’s Amateur Championship. Lee had further success at the end of the year when she qualified for this year’s LPGA Tour.
Lee had played just two LPGA events in her rookie season before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the world of golf. She missed the cut in the ISPS Handa Vic Open before a joint 62nd place in the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open.
Considering her amateur pedigree, many expect Lee to find much success in the professional game.