The premier Professional Squash Association (PSA) championship will boast a prize fund of $277,500, the largest ever offered by any World Open or PSA World Tour event, and will be staged in Kuwait, for the first time, from 1-7 November.
Held at St George's LT&SC in Surrey, England, the qualifying event had attracted players from 21 nations, ranked between 50 and 147 in the world, who were chasing 16 places in the main draw.
Joe Lee is based at St George's Hill, where he is coached by his father and former England international Danny Lee.  The 19-year-old, ranked 96 in the world, took the first two games against Koukal, ranked 46 places higher, and was leading in the third when the Czech Republic number one was forced to retire with a foot injury.
The 11-6, 15-13, 8-3 victory in 49 minutes, perhaps the most significant win of Lee's career, takes the teenager into the main draw of the World Open for the first time.
The World Open qualifiers produced a number of stunning upsets, with Denmark's Rasmus Nielsen, ranked 124 in the world, becoming the lowest-ranked player to claim a coveted Kuwait slot.  One of four World Squash Federation invitees, Nielsen beat an out-of-sorts Ritwik Bhattacharya, the world No56 from India, 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 in just 23 minutes.
The 26-year-old from Odense will become the first Dane to compete in the main draw of the World Open since 2002.
Shaun le Roux battled for 59 minutes to upset New Zealand's higher-ranked Campbell Grayson 4-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-4 to become one of three Englishmen to qualify.
But France also boasted three successes, with Mathieu Castagnet, Yann Perrin and Julien Balbo all surviving marathon encounters which lasted more than 70 minutes.  Perrin, the world No67 from Aix-en-Provence, was stretched for 93 minutes before overcoming Hong Kong's Dick Lau 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6.
There were also two unexpected triumphs by Irishmen when John Rooney and Arthur Gaskin both took out higher-ranked opponents to earn a passage to Kuwait.  Dubliner Gaskin defeated Pakistan's Khawaja Adil Maqbool 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8, while Rooney, from Galway, claimed his victory without lifting a racket.
It was a disappointing outcome for Egyptian Mohammed Abbas, the former world No13 and veteran of seven World Open appearances, who was forced to concede the match to Rooney as the result of a back injury.
Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 Qualifying Finals:
Joe Lee (ENG) bt Jan Koukal (CZE) 11-6, 15-13, 8-3 ret. (49m)
Shaun le Roux (ENG) bt Campbell Grayson (NZL) 4-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-4 (59m)
Arthur Gaskin (IRL) bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool (PAK) 13-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-8
Rasmus Nielsen (DEN) bt Ritwik Bhattacharya (IND) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (23m)
John Rooney (IRL) bt Mohammed Abbas (EGY) w/o
Yasir Butt (PAK) bt Clinton Leeuw (RSA) 7-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-5, 11-7 (61m)
Mathieu Castagnet (FRA) bt Gilly Lane (USA) 5-11, 7-11, 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (72m)
Martin Knight (NZL) bt Ben Ford (ENG) 11-7, 10-12, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6 (82m)
Scott Arnold (AUS) bt Aqeel Rehman (AUT) 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 8-11, 11-9 (65m)
Yann Perrin (FRA) bt Dick Lau (HKG) 11-6, 7-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-6 (93m)
Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Bradley Hindle (MLT) 8-11, 8-4 ret.
Stephen Coppinger (RSA) bt Wade Johnstone (AUS) 11-3, 11-1, 11-9 (31m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS) bt Max Lee (HKG) 14-12, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5 (69m)
Nicolas Mueller (SUI) bt Jens Schoor (GER) 7-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-8 (43m)
Robbie Temple (ENG) bt Henrik Mustonen (FIN) 11-9, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9 (58m)
Julien Balbo (FRA) bt Dylan Bennett (NED) 12-14, 11-9, 11-7, 11-4 (73m)
For further information, visit the Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009 Official Website, www.kuwaitworldopen2009.com or email: info@isportgroup.com
Issued by PSA World Media Manager Howard Harding and distributed by isportgroup.com on behalf of the Kuwait Men’s World Open 2009

England's Joe Lee, a late entry into the qualifying tournament for the Kuwait Men’s World Open Squash Championship 2009, following the withdrawal of a higher-ranked player, took full advantage of his unexpected opportunity by beating the event's top seed Jan Koukal to earn a place in the main draw of the world's richest squash event.