ZANESVILLE, Ohio – NIU men’s golfer Joo-Young Lee (Hillard, Ohio/Hillard) won the Ohio Amateur Championship Friday afternoon at Zanesville Country Club in Zanesville, Ohio.
Lee joins a list of Ohio Amateur Champions that includes seven time major champion and PGA legend Arnold Palmer (1953, 1954), 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis (1999, 2000), as well as 1933 Open Champion Denny Shute (1927).
“This is a huge honor and a very special championship to be a part of,” said Lee. “I’m kind of at a loss of words, it’s awesome and I still can’t believe this all happened.”
After finishing the first three rounds at even par (72-69-75=216), Lee closed the tournament with a final round best 68 (-4) to finish the tournament tied with Jared Howard (Cincinnati) with a four round total of 284 (-4).
“My ball striking was very good today and I entered the tournament a little nervous about it but I adjusted my grip before it started and it carried me. The putts were good today too,” added Lee.
After finishing the round and the tournament -4, Lee was notified of the upcoming playoff with Howard.
“I honestly didn’t know it was going to happen. I had thought at the start of the tournament that a -5 would be around what it would take to win this thing,” laughed Lee. “The 18th hole (for the playoff) played between an 8 and a 9-iron and I decided to play it short. I got a good shot off and that led to the birdie.”Teammate Nick Huggins (Marietta, Ohio/Marietta) also played in the Ohio Amateur Championship, finishing tied for 32nd at +9 (73-70-79-75=297).
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