Alison Lee stayed off the black runs on a recent ski trip to Japan in an effort to avoid anything catastrophic. She couldn’t have imagined that her boyfriend’s rescue dog, a black Pomeranian aptly named Bear, would be what sent her to the hospital.
Bear, a rescue dog who only has a handful of teeth, managed to clamp down on Lee’s left hand in late January, resulting in a number of open wounds. Twenty-four hours after the incident, Lee woke up to find that her entire arm had turned red. She went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with lymphangitis. Doctors had to cut open her hand in two places to get rid of the infection.
She stayed in the hospital for two nights and withdrew from next week’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International as well as the Honda LPGA Thailand. Lee, who won on Saudi’s Riyadh Golf Club last fall, will make her first LPGA start Feb. 29-March 3 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.
“He’s a very sweet dog,” Lee insisted. “He just gets very territorial.”
The Los Angeles native was the hottest player in the world at the end of 2023, winning on the LET in Saudi Arabia and finishing runner-up in her last three LPGA starts. Though admittedly burnt out at the end of the year, Lee only wished she’d had a couple more chances to try and capitalize on the momentum.
When it comes to star power, few on tour can match Lee’s potential.
“There’s an elegance about everything she does,” said Chris Mayson, the swing coach who brought Lee out of a years-long slump with the driver yips.
“It’s a little bit like watching Rory (McIlroy) play the game. There’s a rhythm to it that just makes it easy on the eye.”
One of the most approachable players on tour, Lee’s openness with the media makes it easy for fans to take an interest. The problem, of course, is that Lee hasn’t yet built a professional resume strong enough to take advantage of that star potential.
More to the point: She hasn’t won on the LPGA.
“She has that ability to capture the audience,” said UCLA head coach Alicia Um Holmes of a Bruin who won the Annika Award, given to the nation’s top player, as a freshman.
A six-time first-team All-American on the AJGA, Lee was a powerhouse amateur who won LPGA Q-School in 2014. As a rookie, she played her way onto the Solheim Cup team – like Paula Creamer and Rose Zhang –…