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Alison Lee, Valencia alum, to play in LPGA major

Lee gets sponor's exemption to Kraft Nabisco Championship

Posted: April 1, 2014 5:07 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2014 5:07 p.m.
 

Valencia High graduate Alison Lee has successfully parlayed a stellar junior golf career into an impressive start to her college campaign.

Her reward this week was an invitation to the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the first LPGA major of the year.

The tournament takes place from Thursday to Sunday at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

Lee, 19, will be playing her fifth career LPGA major and her second Kraft Nabisco event.

“Not many people get this opportunity,” Lee said Tuesday of her sponsor's exemption to the tournament. “Only 10 amateurs got invited to play in the Kraft Nabiscso. It was really an honor.”

Lee played the same event as a 17-year-old in 2012, missing the 36-hole cut with a two-day score of 155.

She was also invited to the Kraft Nabisco last year, but she declined due to personal reasons.

Lee, who is the No. 3 amateur woman in the world’s official rankings, has previously qualified for three U.S.

Women’s Open tournaments in the past. She made the cut two out of three times.

“From playing other LPGA majors the first things I’ve learned is keeping calm and controlling my emotions especially because there are huge galleries there and tons of people cheering you on,” Lee said. “You don’t get that at regular junior tournaments.”

Fortunately for Lee, she’s going into the week’s event with some momentum.

In her first season with the NCAA No. 2 ranked Bruins’ golf team, Lee has posted a team-best 70.7 scoring average in eight events played. She’s already claimed seven top-10 finishes and two individual victories at the Betsy Rawls Invitational and the Stanford Fall Invitational, both in October.

Last month, she was selected to play for the 2014 Curtis Cup, which is an international team competition played between a team of elite U.S. players versus a group of players from Great Britain and Ireland. The event, played once every two years, will take place from June 6-8 at St. Louis Country Club.

“It means a lot,” Lee said of her early collegiate success. “I was nervous coming into college because I was coming off a really good junior golf career and I wanted to continue that.”

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