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Resorters Golf: Lee goes low in Masters

David Lee of Waukegan, IL can quickly recall what he considers the five mistakes he made during his Masters Division qualifying round on Monday. There was a couple missed two-footers on the green. A couple drives in the trees and not hitting the ...

Lee
David Lee of Waukegan, IL watches his putt during the 2017 Resorters Golf Tournament. Lee shot a 1-over par 73 during the Men's Masters Division qualifying round to finish as the low round of the day in the division. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)

David Lee of Waukegan, IL can quickly recall what he considers the five mistakes he made during his Masters Division qualifying round on Monday.

There was a couple missed two-footers on the green. A couple drives in the trees and not hitting the green with a sand wedge in his hands that stick out.

The key in golf is being able to bounce back from those bad shots, and Lee did it through his first round as his 1-over par 73 led the field in the Masters.

“I got up and down four out of those five times,” Lee said. “That was big for me. The driver was great except for the two I hit in the trees on two and five. It felt so good with the driver that I used the driver on 10. In my notes, it tells me to use a three wood because it’s a little bit tighter. Some days you have that confidence and some days you don’t. It starts on the driving range.”

Lee felt like he had three good looks at birdie, and he sank one of those on No. 15. He was on his game on the front as he strung together eight pars before a bogey on nine.

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“The greens are really nice and smooth,” Lee said. “The course is in great shape. It’s really a neat tournament. The energy out there even walking around and this morning when I was practicing, it’s awesome.”

This is Lee’s fourth year playing in the Resorters, and he ran into Dan Elton, the two-time defending champion, the last couple years. Elton beat Lee in the semifinals a year ago and in the quarterfinals in 2016. Elton shot a 7-over 79 in qualifying on Monday but enters match play as the top seed as the defending champ.

“I just want to post a good score every day,” Lee said of heading into Wednesday. “I don’t want to think about anything else except that one specific shot.”

Lee does not neglect his golf game. He goes to Florida for the winter, so he gets in more than 200 rounds a year, he figured. He’s played in more than 50 tournaments already this year, so he knows how to navigate his way through this kind of atmosphere.

He hopes the low qualifying round is the start of a week that culminates with his first Resorters championship.

“That’s the dream, but like the old timers would say, the qualifiers don’t mean anything,” Lee said. “The first round everybody gets to the next round, so you get three rounds guaranteed. The third round to me is the most important one. Win that one, you get to play the next day. That’s where it’s important. You’ve got to be calm, think about the process and not the whole desire to play really well.”

Gene Seashore of Lakewood Ranch, FL won a tiebreaker for the final spot in the Masters Division championship flight after tying Al Strassburg with an 81 through 18. Tom Ryan of Minnetonka was the second low qualifier and enters match play as the third seed after shooting a 2-over 74. Larry Petersen of Albert Lea and Peter Glanville both shot 76s to also position themselves well heading into this week’s tournament.

MEN’S MASTERS DIVISION - CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS - David Lee - 73; Tom Ryan - 74; Larry Petersen - 76; Peter Glanville - 76; Gary Rolfzen - 77; George Cliff - 77; Norty Blanchard - 77; Steve Tessmer - 78; John Hagge - 78; Roger Ledebuhr - 78; Randy Johnson - 79; Dave Battey - 79; Tom Vipond - 79; Dan Elton (top seed as defending champ) - 79; Ron Way - 80; Gene Seashore - 81

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WEDNESDAY PAIRINGS - 1ST TEE

8:12 a.m. - Dan Elton vs. Gene Seashore; Nortby Blanchard vs. Steve Tessmer

8:21 - Larry Petersen vs. Dave Battey; Peter Glanville vs. Randy Johnson

8:30 - David Lee vs. Ron Way; George Cliff vs. John Hagge

8:39 - Tom Ryan vs. Tom Vipond; Gary Rolfzen vs. Roger Ledebuhr  

Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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