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Golf notes: Jaclyn Lee continues to emerge on international golf scene

Written by Wes Gilbertson

Her game travels.

Calgary’s Jaclyn Lee proved that much with her superb run at the 2018 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, where her quest to become only the second Canadian to win the prestigious crown ended with a loss to eventual champion Leonie Harm of Germany in the semifinal round of matches.

“The Ladies British Open Amateur Championship has so much history, so it really does mean a lot to me to have a strong showing here,” Lee wrote in an email from overseas. “The fact that (Canadian Golf Hall-of-Famer) Marlene Streit last won it in 1953, I was really hoping I could join her name on that trophy.

“I think the key to my success in the match-play portion was having a good game-plan for the course and knowing when to play it safe or aggressive. Hillside Golf Club really tests all facets of a player’s game, so keeping it in play at all times was another key part.”

It’s been clear for the past few summers that Lee is one of Calgary’s rising-stars, but her player-to-watch status now extends beyond just the local or even national scene.

A member at Glencoe and representative of Golf Canada’s amateur program, the 21-year-old took an eraser to the history books during her junior campaign with the Ohio State Buckeyes, setting a school record with a season-long scoring average of 71.14.

Lee was briefly sitting atop the individual leaderboard during the final round of the NCAA Women’s Championship before fading to a tie for fifth, another all-time Buckeyes best. Just before jetting off to England for the Ladies British Open Amateur Championship, she made the most of an exemption at the Meijer LPGA Classic, finishing as the top amateur and also the top Canadian — two strokes better than superstar Brooke Henderson — at T-35.

At the British Ladies Am, Lee advanced through the stroke-play portion with a two-round tab of 7-over 151 and was victorious in four straight showdowns before being ousted by Harm in a 4&3 result in the semifinals.

“For sure, I can really take away the success I’ve had over in Britain and use that confidence heading into future matches,” said Lee, who should continue to climb from her current perch at No. 36 in the women’s world amateur golf rankings. “But also I’ve learned what mental headspace allows me to play better in match play and what doesn’t. We all have something that makes us tick and it’s just about fine-tuning those things now.”

Lee’s upcoming schedule includes the North & South Amateur at Pinehurst No. 2 — she finished second in stroke-play and eventually advanced to the Round of 16 last summer, so she knows she can have success at the famed venue — and the Canadian Women’s Amateur at Marine Drive in Vancouver.

CHIP SHOTS

The stage is set for the Rileys Best Ball main-event final — the Country Hills tandem of Kevin Temple and Jamie Welder will slug it out with Inglewood head pro Jeff MacGregor and partner Brett Ladick in Sunday’s championship match at Canyon Meadows. Temple and Welder won back-to-back titles in 2014-15, while MacGregor and Ladick are shooting to win the annual showdown for the first time. Meanwhile, Rick Heenan and Brad Wagner (Inglewood) will meet Brad Hudspeth and Brett Nichols (Cottonwood) in the senior final. The Canyon Meadows duo of Rhonda Carter and Cheryl Newman have already repeated as champs in the women’s division … Annabelle Ackroyd (Silver Springs/Glencoe) pulled off an impressive double — the 16-year-old qualified on consecutive days for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship and then the U.S. Women’s Amateur … There are a lot of smooth-swinging teens hanging around Sundre this week, with the junior and juvenile provincial champions to be crowned on separate courses in the same small town. The girls are competing at Coyote Creek, while the boys will battle for bragging rights at Sundre Golf Club … The Calgary Ladies Golf Association’s Closed Amateur tees off Tuesday at Inglewood, with 84 hopefuls signed up for the three-day tournament … Wes Heffernan (Silver Springs/Golf Canada Calgary Centre) was the only Albertan to advance to the match-play portion of the PGA of Canada Championship before being defeated on the third playoff hole of his quarterfinal match … Edmonton’s Brandon Markiw surged to a five-shot victory at the Alberta Men’s Mid-Amateur Championship.

View the article from the Edmonton Sun here.

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