Aidan Lee erases 8-shot deficit to win Memorial Amateur
29 May 2023
by Conner Penfold of

see also: View results for Memorial Amateur, Ancil Hoffman Golf Course, Aidan Lee Rankings

St. Mary's College sophomore and 2023 Memorial Amateur winner Aidan Lee. (Conner Penfold photo)
St. Mary's College sophomore and 2023 Memorial Amateur winner Aidan Lee. (Conner Penfold photo)

Aidan Lee was eight shots back entering the final round of the 26th Memorial Amateur. Now he's a champion.

A seemingly-inconceivable win for the rising sophomore at St. Mary's College, who captured his first career victory thanks to a staggering seven birdies in his closing 12 holes at Ancil Hoffman Golf Course. The bogey-free 65 was the lowest score of the tournament, and one of just three sub-70 rounds on Memorial Day.

"A lot of the times you just had to accept your 30-footer for birdie and two-putt, or if you had a scoring opportunity take advantage of it. That's what I really did well today," Lee said.

Lee's seventh and final birdie of the round was likely his most impressive — a 50-foot bomb up to a back-right pin at the par-4 17th. He left himself with roughly 50 feet again at the 230-yard, par-3 18th, but this time gravity and course conditions combined to create a treacherous putt. His speed was nearly perfect and he ran it just a few feet by leaving an uphill putt to secure the clubhouse lead.

The tournament's focus shifted to the narrow par-5 16th, where the final pairing featured two players tied with Lee at 6 under par. Matthew Sutherland and Mike Perchak were busy navigating the nearly 600-yard hole where accuracy on all three shots is key. Sutherland, a Sacramento native and soon-to-be senior at Fresno State, leaked his drive right amidst a mass of oak. A botched punch-out attempt led to a bogey, and a short-sided chip at the 17th made it two in a row. At 4 under par, Sutherland tied for third place for the third year in row.

Perchak, a 32-year old native of Alamo, Calif. who led the field by a stroke heading into the last day, parred his remaining holes and executed a delicate up-and-down at the 18th to force a playoff.

Runner-up Mike Perchak fist pumps after sinking a par putt to get into a playoff. (Conner Penfold photo)

"In the playoff at U.S. Open local qualifying, I had a similar putt to win and kind of babied it," Perchak admitted. "So I told myself, 'this thing is going in.'"

The Memorial Amateur headed to extra holes for the second consecutive year, but since Tournament Director John Rochelle switched the nines, Lee and Perchak squared off in a three-hole aggregate on the opposite side of the golf course.

Lee birdied 16 for the second time that day, making it eight birdies over his last 13 holes. Though circumstances differed, both Lee and Perchak made exceptional pars on 17, getting up and down over the deep greenside bunker. Then with Lee safely on the green below the hole at 18, Perchak needed to chip in to put pressure on his playing partner. It ran past the cup and Lee successfully two-putted for the playoff clincher.

Lee's St. Mary's Gaels teammates soaked him with water to celebrate the moment, capping off a day of much-needed support. His parents, often spectators at his events, received the exciting news via phone call instead.

"When I called him, I started tearing up," Lee said. "My dad has been my No. 1 guy the whole way. He's the one who taught me the game. Unfortunately he wasn't here today but he was here in my heart. It was unbelievable and so special. I wish they were here."

2023 Memorial Amateur

Results: Memorial Amateur
1CAAidan LeePasadena, CA40070-75-65=210
2CAMichael PerchakAlamo, CA30070-67-73=210
T3CALucas CarperSan Jose, CA20070-69-73=212
T3CAMatthew SutherlandCarmichael, CA20068-70-74=212
5CALuke DuggerDavis, CA20069-69-75=213

View full results for Memorial Amateur

ABOUT THE Memorial Amateur

Founded by Vietnam Veteran John Rochelle; it's no coincidence that this first class, traditional event takes place on Memorial Day weekend. 54 hole stroke play event w/ 36 hole cut. Field limited to 84 players. Played on one of the great daily fee golf courses in America.

For a tournament entry form, email John Rochelle at

View Complete Tournament Information

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