(Reuters) – A pre-tournament car crash was not going to stop Lee Kyoung-hoon from jumping at a last-minute chance to play the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Thursday.
Lee, in his second season on the PGA Tour, incurred a sore neck and back when the courtesy car driven by his wife was involved in a two-vehicle accident en route to the Bay Hill course on Wednesday, golfchannel.com reported.
But the 28-year-old South Korean, the first alternate in the event, still rose before dawn on Thursday and headed out to the course in Orlando in case someone pulled out.
And when defending champion Francesco Molinari withdrew with a bad back, Lee’s effort was rewarded.
Not only that, he got to enjoy some pretty heady company as he slotted into Molinari’s spot in a threesome with Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose.
“I couldn’t feel anything after that,” Lee said after a solid even-par 72.
“Maybe the accident was lucky, kind of like karma that led me to getting into the event.”
Lee is having a solid season, 76th on the tour’s FedEx Cup ranking.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)