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Amateur golf: On to the next round for Lee

Valencia golfer advances past first round of match play at U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship

Posted: July 18, 2012 7:02 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2012 7:02 p.m.

Alison Lee plays her second shot at the 15th hole during the first round of match play at the 2012 U.S. Girls' Junior at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, on Wednesday.

 

This is the last time that Valencia High golfer Alison Lee will ever get to compete in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.

She’s making the most of it.

After surviving stroke play and finishing tied for 19th overall, the 17-year-old Valencia High senior won in the first round of match play on Wednesday at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City.

“This is my sixth time in this tournament. It’s the record for a player. I’ve played in this tournament since I was 12 years old. I’ve had a lot of chances. This is my last year here. Hopefully I can do something,” Lee said. “Coming here, everyone’s young. I’m so old.”

For years, Lee has been the Santa Clarita Valley’s golf prodigy — one of the top-ranked junior golfers in the nation since she was a pre-teen.

She has continued to play at an elite level, including golfing in two very prestigious golf events this July.

Lee finished in 60th place at the U.S. Women’s Open, but she was one of three amateurs among 28 in the field to make the cut.

That earned her a spot in the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship.

Lee wasn’t at her best early.

On Monday, she shot a 6-over 78, then followed that up with a 2-over on Tuesday.

“It is different up here (than Valencia). It’s 60 degrees and the wind is blowing. This is a tough course. There’s no water, but the fairways are tight and rough is hard to get out of,” Lee said. “I didn’t play my best today.”

Lee defeated Maddie Szeryk of Allen, Texas 3 and 2, winning on the 16th hole.

Lee will face Australia’s Su-Hyun Oh and tee off at 8:57 a.m. today.

The Valencia resident has never made it past the round of 16 in this tournament.

She understands that she is an underdog here, but said if she hits more fairways and cleans up her putting, she has a chance.

The round of 16 will also be played today, the semifinals are on Friday and the 36-hole championship will be played Saturday.

Lee has a busy summer ahead with tournaments that will keep her away from home, she said, for four weeks.
She will be in Orlando, Fla. July 23-26 at the Wyndham Cup — a team competition which pits the East against West — at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club.

Lee has not played for the Valencia High girls golf team since she was a freshman, and said she has discussed with her parents playing her senior year.

With her busy junior golf schedule, it’s uncertain if she can.

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