Nov. 29, 2004
UCLA-bound James Lee won the 2004 AJGA Polo Junior Classic on Sunday in a 23-hole match play competition at Sea Island, GA. Lee defeated David May of Auburn, NY, with a par on the 23rd hole to claim the title that eluded him last year.
Lee signed a National Letter of Intent three weeks ago to attend UCLA in the fall of 2005.
The tournament was played on the Sea Island Golf Club's Plantation and Seaside Courses. After 36 holes of stroke play, the top 32 players advanced to match play.
Lee joins previous AJGA Polo Classic winners Casey Wittenberg, Hunter Mahan and Tiger Woods, who were each collegiate All-Americans.
Lee, who turned 18 on Friday, earned a bit of revenge against May, who beat him in the round of 16 at last year's Polo Golf Junior Classic.
Lee took an early lead in the match, going 1-up after the second hole. He took advantage of his solid iron play early on to go 2-up through four holes. THe La Habraa native made the turn 2-up, and then May mounted his comeback.
May squared the match at the 15th with a birdie, and the drama continued on the inward nine.
"David played really well, especially on the backside," said Lee, winner of this year's Family Toyota/Family Honda Junior presented by Cox Media. "It was very interesting to play him again, and of course it was nice to win this time."
Both players drained 15-foot putts on the 18th hole to extend the match. The two players halved four holes until Lee finally ended the match on the 23rd hole.
"I thought I was going to lose, but fortunately I was able to grind along," Lee said. "I got very lucky, but I am extremely happy with how I played this week."
Lee tied for 14th after the stroke play competition with rounds of 69-73--142.
In the first round of match play on the Seaside Course, he defeated Cornelius Carroll of Windemere, FL, 4 and 3. In the second round, he defeated Rafael Lee of Burnaby, British Columbia, 1-up. He defeated Matthew Swan of Montgomery, AL, 6 and 4 in the quarterfinals and Arnold Vongvanji of Bradenton, FL, 2-up in the semifinals.
"This means so much to me and I look forward to building on this next year," Lee added.
UCLA's other signees, Erik Flores of Grass Valley and Lucas Lee of Torrance, finished tied for fourth and tied for sixth, respectively in the stroke play competition. Both lost in the first round of match play.