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Alison Lee moves to match play at U.S. Women's Amateur

Posted: August 5, 2014 10:43 p.m.
Updated: August 5, 2014 10:43 p.m.
 

Step one is over, and Alison Lee passed it with flying colors on Tuesday at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.

Lee, a Valencia High School graduate, finished tied for fourth place overall after 36 holes of stroke play following her round of 1-over 71 on Tuesday at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, N.Y.

Lee is even par overall for the tournament and three strokes behind leader Bethany Wu.

After Tuesday, a field that began with 156 of some of the world’s top amateur golfers will be cut to 64 for a match play tournament.

The 19-year-old UCLA sophomore easily makes the cut for the second year in a row.

“It’s nice to play well on this course and get a feel for it and gain confidence the first two days,” Lee said.

While her opening round Monday was more up-and-down (four birdies, three bogeys), Tuesday’s round was much more steady and proved to be a lot of damage control, she said.

A 12th hole bogey was the only blemish on her scorecard Tuesday. She parred the other 17 holes on the difficult and narrow course just outside New York City.

“You just have to par and play safe on every hole,” Lee said. “It’s not really worth it to take a risk and try to hit a big shot.”

Though this is Lee’s first time playing Nassau Country Club, it is her seventh straight year playing this tournament after she debuted at age 13.

This will also be her final start at the U.S. Amateur as she intends to turn professional sometime in the next year.

“I’m really sad because I’ve played in this event since I was 13,” she said. “I’ve played every year and the USGA (United State Golf Association) does a really good job putting on this event.”

And with this being her swan song, she goes in with a heap of confidence coming off her victory at the North & South Women’s Amateur three weeks ago.

Lee comes into the week as the world’s third ranked amateur, but she’s one of 13 competitors in the field this week ranked top 25 in the world.

Fortunately, she can draw from a successful experience at the 2013 U.S. Amateur, where she made it to the final four in match play before losing to eventual champion Emma Talley.

So far, that’s her best showing at the event.

“I feel like I’m just going to have to take what I can from last year and apply what I can this year,” Lee said.

In today’s first round of match play, Lee faces Purdue University’s August Kim with a 7:20 a.m. Pacific Time start.

Afternoon action will be televised on the Golf Channel from noon to 3 p.m.

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