The winner was announced following a vote of Division I golfers, college coaches and members of the golf media. Lee will formally receive the ANNIKA Award in September at the first-annual ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M at Reunion Resort in Orlando, FL.
Lee, 19, won three collegiate tournaments in her first season at UCLA, including the Pac-12 Championship. She was voted the 2014 Pac-12 Freshman and Player of the Year, as well as WGCA national freshman of the year. A 2014 First-Team WGCA All-American, Lee was a member of the United States’ victorious Curtis Cup Team earlier this month.
She also set a UCLA single season scoring record of 71.0 and became the first player in school history to win the GolfStat Cup – collegiate golf’s scoring title. During the season, she played 34 collegiate rounds in 22-under par and led the Bruins with 20 rounds under par and 10 Top 10 results.
Named in honor of Annika Sorenstam, the legendary professional and college player, the award is an ANNIKA Foundation Initiative managed with the help of GolfWeek. Oversight is provided by the Fred Haskins Commission, which for 44 years has given out the Haskins Award to the outstanding male collegiate golfer.
Lee is no stranger to Annika. As a junior golfer, the Valencia, Calif. native won the 2012 ANNIKA Invitational — an award-winning AJGA tournament also managed by the ANNIKA Foundation. She recalled that the victory was a turning point in her junior golf career.
“I still remember winning the tournament,” said Lee. “I had always been in contention and on leaderboards and finishing top 10 in other Invitationals but could never win. The ANNIKA Invitational was really the turning point because in my opinion, in order to be a great successful golfer, you have to learn how to win and the ANNIKA Invitational was a big step for me.”
It was Annika who delivered the news to Lee.
“I am excited to see Alison win the inaugural ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M,” she said. “She is a great young player at UCLA, who I got to know when she won our AJGA tournament a few years ago. I'm very happy for her.”
As a junior golfer, Lee was a six-time AJGA All-American and won nine times on the AJGA circuit. The ANNIKA Award crowned her outstanding freshman season.
“I just feel really honored and thankful for all the people who voted,” Lee said. “My freshman year has been so fun and I feel like I accomplished so much. To have the ANNIKA (Award) on my resume is huge.”
Annika enjoyed a stellar NCAA career at the University of Arizona. She won seven collegiate tournaments, including the 1991 NCAA Championship. She was the 1991 NCAA Co-Player of the Year and earned All-America honors. In 1992, she was the Pac-10 champion and finished second in the NCAA Championship. She turned pro that same year.
This fall, Annika will host the first ANNIKA Intercollegiate at Reunion Resort, Sept. 27-30. The event will feature 12 of the nation’s best women’s golf teams — including UCLA. Lee will be formally presented the ANNIKA Award during a banquet that week.