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Danny Lee to Get New Coach


Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee of New Zealand, who's now a budding professional, has parted company with his coach. Steve Jessup, who has coached Lee since 2006, will no longer help guide the development of the gifted 18-year-old.

The two separated after the Masters last month, where Lee didn't make the weekend cut. Jessup, the club pro at Wairakei International near Taupo since 1995, has no bitter feelings about the end of their working relationship. He knew before leaving for Augusta National that the year's first major marked a career chance for Lee, who's now settled in the U.S.

Lee's parents, Sam and Sujin, provided airfare for the 34-year-old Jessup during his week-long trip to Georgia as a personal thank you for the help he offered their eldest son, as well as a friendship forged during the long hours they spent together.

"That's the sort of people they are," said Jessup. "He has a lot of opportunity with other people over there (U.S.) now," Jessup told Martin Davidson of the NZPA.

Last week, Lee pocketed the first paycheck of his young career, when a tie for 38th in the Quail Hollow Championship was worth $25,000.

"I have certainly enjoyed my experience with him and it would be great if there was any opportunity to carry that on. But at the end of the day all I want is what is best for him, and he has the opportunity to talk to a lot more experience out there than what I could offer."

Jessup said he enjoyed working with Lee, a relationship that began in 2006 when the teen sought him out during a Golf Tour New Zealand tournament at Wairakei. "I never thought I'd get to take a player to the Masters."

Jessup expects Lee to thrive in the U.S. "He is comfortable enough in the environment. The majors are another level again but in your week-in, week-out tour events, he will be all right," Jessup said.

Lee's management company, IMG, will now find a new coach for him.

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