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Alison Lee shoots 66, trails by two at Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship

2024 HSBC Women's World Championship

Alison Lee felt like she’d been put on ice after finishing the 2023 LPGA season with three consecutive runner-up showings. For Lee, it was a shame that the season had to end at all.

But then her offseason got even longer after a nasty dog bite left her hospitalized and on the sidelines for two extra weeks. She felt rushed heading to her first start to the season in Singapore and left shaken by the poor start.

“You know, my biggest fear, too, is losing it, right?” said Lee. “Like I had such a great end of the year last year. Golf is such an unpredictable game. Anything can happen. I can have a really good stretch of events and then the next week you can play terribly.

“That’s what your mind always goes to even though you shouldn’t.”

Lee’s mind went there after a T-51 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship that included rounds of 77 and 79. But the former UCLA star dug deep to keep herself from getting too down. She saw her putting coach and her swing coach. A call from hype man Fred Couples helped, too.

2024 HSBC Women's World Championship

Alison Lee plays her shot from the second tee during the first round of the 2024 HSBC Women’s World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. (Photo: Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

“My boyfriend can go on and on and tell me how great I am,” said Lee. “Doesn’t mean anything because I’m like, you’re supposed to say that.

“When you have someone like him [Couples] who’s a legend who says all these nice things – he doesn’t have to say any of that – for him to put some time aside and give me a little bit of confidence and tell me things that sometimes I don’t believe myself is a lot. It means a lot to me.”

At the newly renamed Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship, Lee got some confidence back after an opening 5-under 66 at Palos Verdes Golf Club in California put her two strokes back of Canada’s Maude-Aimee Leblanc.

There’s a lot on the line for the 20th-ranked Lee as she looks to qualify for the Summer Olympics in Paris and make another U.S. Solheim Cup team.

“Yeah, feels good,” said Lee. “I had a lot of nerves coming into this week for sure.”


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