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Washington State Am: Lee goes 13-under

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (June 27, 2008)--Richard Lee, of Covington, Wash. followed up yesterday's course and tournament record by shooting a solid 1-over par 73 in today’s final round to claim the title in the 82nd WSGA Men’s State Amateur Championship.

His 13-under par 275 is one of the lowest final scores in the history of the championship. Held at the Links at Moses Pointe in Moses Lake, Wash., which last hosted this championship in 2005, only nine players managed to finish under par.

Lee had fired a stunning 10-under par 62 in swirling winds in the third round, giving him a five shot cushion heading into today’s final round, and his margin of victory at the end of the day were those five shots. But it wasn’t easy. Lee bogeyed the second hole, then triple-bogeyed the par-3 third hole, making things interesting.

“My whole approach to start the round was to play steady golf, and make them come to me,” said Lee. “But that’s not what happened.”

After his shaky start, he settled down.

“I could have fallen apart after that start,” said Lee. “I really started to grind it out. I stayed steady.”

He did, recording five birdies over his final 15 holes.

Lee grabbed the title for good on the 11th hole, a 561-yard par-5. With a narrow landing area for the tee shot with water on the left and out-of-bounds on the right, Lee drilled a driver into a hot summer crosswind, splitting the fairway, his ball settling 120 yards beyond his two playing partners, Derek Berg and Jarin Todd, both of whom had hit irons off the tee on the difficult driving hole. Lee birdied the hole and never looked back.

Berg and Todd finished tied for second, along with defending champion Joel Dahmen of Clarkston, Wash. who shot his second consecutive 5-under par 67.

Lee will be joining the University of Washington’s men’s golf team in the fall as a junior, transferring from Bellevue Community College.

This year marked the 30th Anniversary of Fred Couple winning the WSGA Men’s Amateur Championship. Couples won this championship in 1978 at Olympia Country and Golf Club. A native of Seattle, Couples has become one of the most popular players on the PGA Tour. Couples’ record as a professional includes over a dozen victories, including the 1992 Masters.

--Courtesy WSGA

View results for Washington Men's Amateur Golf Championship

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