Alison Lee wins Annika

REUNION, Fla. — Alison Lee of Valencia, Calif., claimed her first Invitational title Monday at the ANNIKA Invitational at Reunion Resort. Compiling three rounds of 71 for a 3-under-par final, Lee was the only player to shoot under par through each round of the tournament, finishing four strokes ahead of Reunion’s Shannon Aubert.

Conducted by the American Junior Golf Association, the ANNIKA Invitational was a 54-hole stroke play competition that featured 72 girls, ages 12-18, from 11 countries and 17 U.S. states. The par-72 Reunion Resort Independence (Watson) Course played to 6,347 yards.

Lee, ranked No. 6 in the Polo Golf Rankings, says the win has been a long time coming. Playing in AJGA events since 2007, the high school junior has found herself runner-up in six events, including three Invitationals.

“I played in my first Invitational when I was 13, so I’ve had a lot of chances,” Lee said. “I’ve finished second many times and fifth a lot. The difference in winning and getting second place is just a whole new feeling. It really means a lot.”

Lee, who has verbally committed to UCLA, has set lofty goals for 2012.

“Hopefully this year I can win a couple more and my goal is to be the Rolex Junior Player of the Year, so when I get home I’m just going to grind, grind, grind and try to get better,” she said.

Four shots behind Lee was Aubert, who finished with a tournament total of 1-over-par 217. Finishing in a three-way tie for third was Andrea Lee of Hermosa Beach, Calif., Simin Feng of Orlando, Fla., and Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., each with a 3-over-par 219.

The two South Africans did not do well and must have been disappointed. Izel Pieters finished T45 on 232 (80, 77, 75) and Lara Weinstein T66 on 241 (81, 78, 82).

Posted in