Fijian golfer Sam Lee has won the Cardos Steakhouse Fiji Open with rounds of 68, 65 and 68 to finish 15-under the card, three shots ahead of Josh Munn and Oscar Cadenhead who shared second place at 12-under the card.
Defending champion Kieran Muir was two shots further back at 10-under the card alongside Hayden Beard.
Lee becomes the first local to win the Fiji Open in over a decade after coming close to winning the title in the past.
Although he was already likely to earn a start at the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways through his status on the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, he’s now guaranteed a spot alongside Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Gaganjeet Bhullar courtesy of his Fiji Open victory.
“It really feels good, 2002 saw the last local golfer win the Fiji Open, so it gives another spark to the Fiji International and it’s good to keep the trophy at home,” Lee told the Fiji Sun.
“I remember that I had dreamt to win the Fiji Open as a junior in Suva. But I did not know that it was that hard to win it. I really played well the last three days and made a few mistakes today.”
Also earning a place at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course is Tomasi Tuivuna who finished 7-under the card and as the highest finishing Fijian, aside from the champion, he also secures a berth in the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways.
This will be the second consecutive year Tuivana has teed it up at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course, he played in 2017 but failed to make the weekend’s rounds.
For Lee, the win signals an upward trend in form, his last professional tournament yielded a T22 result in the TX Civil & Logistics WA PGA Championship last month.
When the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways begins in August, Lee will be looking to better his best result at the tournament of T26 in 2015.