AUGUSTA, Ga. — S.M. Lee of Buford goes to wire-to-wire to win the Georgia Junior Championship by eight strokes over runner-up Spencer Ralston of Gainesville. The 50th playing of the annual competition took place at West Lake Country Club, June 22-24.
Lee finished the 54-hole competition at 16-under-par 200 after rounds of 63-67-70. Ralston posted rounds of 73-68-67 for a total of 8-under-par 208, good for runner-up honors and his best finish in this event.
During Monday's opening round at West Lake Country Club, Lee's start was as hot as the weather as he notched an eagle, eight birdies and a bogey. His 9-under-par 63 was better than all others by seven strokes. Round two was no different as Lee extended his lead to eight strokes after 36 holes via six birdies and a bogey. On Wednesday, Lee carded a birdie on one, bogey on two and a birdie on three. He added birdies on five, six, and a bogey on eight to turn at 2-under. On the backside of the golf course, Lee went birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey on 14-15-16-17 to go even par on his final nine holes.
Lee's 200 winning score sets the 54-hole record for the Georgia Junior Championship. The previous mark was 201 held by Scott Wolfes of St. Simons Island in 2009. Lee also set the record for lowest 18-hole score with his 63 in round one.
Ryan Hines of Woodstock finished third at 6-under-par 210 (72-70-68). Hunter Dunagan of Martinez came in fourth at 5-under-par 211 (71-70-70). Two players tied for fifth at 4-under-par 212, including JonErik Alford of Roswell (72-71-69) and Brady Keran of Canton (72-66-74). Luukas Alakulppi of Valdosta finished seventh at 2-under-par 214 (71-71-72). Will Chandler of Atlanta posted a 1-under-par 215 (72-75-68) to finish eighth. Grant Sutliff of Suwanee finished ninth at even-par 216 (72-70-74). Three players tied for 10th at 1-over-par 217, including Patrick Edwards of Columbus (71-73-73), Andy Mao of Johns Creek (71-72-74) and States Fort of Evans (72-70-75).
The top eight finishers earn a spot on the Georgia-South Carolina Junior Challenge Match team, which will be played at Berkeley Hall in Bluffton, S.C., July 24-25. Those who earned a spot to represent the Peach State include Lee, Ralston, Hines, Dunagan, Alford, Keran, Alakulppi and Chandler. Of these eight, Ralston and Dunagan played on the Georgia team last year.
Seventy-five players made the cut to advance to the final round at 12-over-par 156. Through two rounds of the Georgia Junior Championship, 16 players were under par in red numbers. Two players were even par and 57 were over par, which made up the 75 who made the 36-hole cut.
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