Somin Lee Accomplishes Rare Feat

It was simply a gesture of sportsmanship — and a little playfulness — shared by the two most recent CWGA Players of the Year.

On Wednesday, just before arriving at the green on the final hole of the 65th CWGA Stroke Play Championship, Kim Eaton gave Somin Lee a hug and shared a few words.

“She was like, ‘Oh you played really good today and you gave too hard of a time to your elder,'” the 20-year-old Lee relayed about the brief conversation with the 53-year-old Eaton. “I was like, ‘I really wanted the trophy, so you weren’t the elder for me on the golf course.'”

Indeed, while Lee playfully calls Eaton “the legend”, the younger golfer didn’t ease up in the least on her “elder” — or anyone else in the field at Columbine Country Club. Lee’s nine-stroke margin of victory is evidence of that.

But it wasn’t just how much the Pepperdine University golfer won by that was impressive. It was what she accomplished in the process. By prevailing in the Stroke Play, Lee became just the second player in history to win the CWGA Junior Stroke Play, Junior Match Play, Stroke Play and Match Play.

Lee joined Wendy Werley as the only golfers to capture all four of those titles during their careers. Werley won the Junior Stroke Play in 1984 and ’85, the Junior Match Play in ’84, and the Stroke Play and Match Play in both 1988 and ’89.

Lee (pictured above and at left) has claimed all four championship titles in the last four years, having won the Junior Stroke Play in 2009, the Junior Match in 2008 and ’09, the Match Play last year, and the Stroke Play on Wednesday.

“It’s really special to have all the different kinds of trophies at my house,” said Lee, a Denver resident. “My mom really wanted this one since we had never gotten it. I really wanted her to be happy and I wanted myself to be happy. And I wanted to start school with more confidence in golf, so it was all good.”

After going into Wednesday’s final round with a two-stroke lead over Eaton, Lee closed with a 2-under-par 71 to finish with an even-par 219 total. Lee, the 2011 CWGA Player of the Year, primarily fended off Eaton, the Player of the Year in 2004, ’07, ’09 and ’10. Eaton closed with a 78 on Wednesday.

Paige Crawford of Colorado Springs (79 Wednesday) and Melissa Martin of Grand Junction (80) tied for third place at 231.

“This is the first (Stroke Play) she’s won and she certainly deserved it,” Eaton said of Lee. “I think Somin has kind of always looked up to me and so it was kind of fun playing with her today because I’ve never gotten to play with her before. She’s a good little player and she has a good demeanor.”

Lee was still only two of Eaton (pictured at left) ahead after six holes on Wednesday, but she birdied the par-3 seventh while Eaton bogeyed, and the lead never got smaller than four strokes the rest of the way. Back-to-back birdies by Lee on 7 and 8, and on 13 and 14 helped put the margin out of reach.

It was a nice bit of redemption for Lee, who lost to Allie Johnston in the final of the CWGA Match Play last month after being 2 up with five holes left. Lee also fell one stroke shy of low-amateur honors in the HealthOne Colorado Women’s Open in June.

“It was kind of rough for me,” she said. “My family expects me to play well in every tournament. But I’m a person and golf is not a perfect game. I really wanted to win all of them, but I’m really happy with my result today.”

As for Eaton, while she wasn’t happy with bogeying three of her final five holes Wednesday, she knows that placing second in the CWGA Stroke Play as a 53-year-old isn’t bad.

“I’m happy with the way I played,” said Eaton, a four-time winner of the Stroke Play. “Anytime I can be runner-up with all these kids … I played with a 15-year-old yesterday. I could be her grandmother almost. So I’m happy I played as well as I did.”

CWGA Stroke Play Championship
At Columbine CC in Littleton

Somin Lee, Denver, Colo. – 72-76-71–219
Kim Eaton, Greeley, Colo. – 77-73-78–228
Paige Crawford, Colorado Springs, Colo. – 78-74-79–231
Melissa Martin, Grand Junction, Colo. – 74-77-80–231
Shannon Lubar, Littleton, Colo. – 78-75-79–232
Janet Moore, Greenwood Village, Colo. – 81-77-77–235
Jessie Joachim, Hudson, Colo. – 79-76-80–235
Paige Spiranac, Colorado Springs, Colo. – 76-80-81–237
Jennifer Kupcho, Westminster, Colo. – 76-80-81–237
Jennifer Kempton, Littleton, Colo. – 81-76-81–238
Sydney Merchant, Morrison, Colo. – 83-76-81–240
Gillian Vance, Lakewood, Colo. – 81-78-82–241
Mikayla Tatman, Longmont, Colo. – 81-78-83–242
Jacqueline Sherman, Grand Junction, Colo. – 78-81-87–246

Kasha Scott, Cherry Hills Village, Colo. – 79-83-76–238
Shannon Lutynski, Castle Rock, Colo. – 81-81-77–239
Taylor Buck, Littleton, Colo. – 83-78-82–243
Christina Spinzig, Evergreen, Colo. – 79-89-76–244
Cindy Pallatino, Scottsdale, Ariz. – 81-80-83–244
Kathleen Kershisnik, Highlands Ranch, Colo. – 81-82-82–245
Megan McCambridge, Boulder, Colo. – 83-81-81–245
Sue Davis, La Quinta, Calif. – 83-83-81–247
Jill Gaschler, Denver, Colo. – 82-87-81–250
Mary Doyen, Denver, Colo. – 90-83-81–254
Lara Pocs, Wesminster, Colo. – 92-81-84–257
Laurie Steenrod, Aurora, Colo. – 84-87-87–258

Emily Wood, Salida, Colo. – 76-75-75–226
Holly Schaefer, Greenwood Village, Colo. – 73-79-76–228
Libby Avery, Highlands Ranch, Colo. – 81-78-79–238
Sandra Young, Monument, Colo. – 80-82-82–244
Jessi McVay, Denver, Colo. – 84-82-81–247
Morgan Sahm, Centennial, Colo. – 85-84-83–252
Kathy Malpass, Evergreen, Colo. – 81-83-88–252
Ruth Van Zee, Denver, Colo. – 84-82-87–253
Andrea Ballou, Larkspur, Colo. – 86-80-88–254
Nancy Ziereis, Centennial, Colo. – 80-87-89–256
Emily Woodard, Cheyenne, Wyo. – 86-82-89–257
Katherine Kemp, Colorado Springs, Colo. – 92-82-84–258
Katty Rothberg, Denver, Colo. – 94-84-83–261
Linda Raunig, Denver, Colo. – 87-90-85–262
Jill Schrader, Littleton, Colo. – 89-88-85–262
Meg Christensen, Houston, Texas – 84-89-89–262
Nina Dulacki, Denver, Colo. – 88-92-84–264
Vickie Brown, Aurora, Colo. – 91-90-86–267
Joanna Ringsby, Denver, Colo. – 91-90-88–269

Justine Kemp, Colorado Springs, Colo. – 81-77-76–234
Jennifer Hocking, Colorado Springs, Colo. – 86-82-91–259
Rachel Cavalier, Lafayette, Colo. – 85-86-88–259
Susan Schell, Highlands Ranch, Colo. – 86-96-83–265
Joanna Kempton, Littleton, Colo. – 90-95-86–271
Chris Jansen, Denver, Colo. – 94-88-94–276
Kimalee Hull, Denver, Colo. – 96-92-90–278
Jenny Tempas, Littleton, Colo. – 90-90-101–281
Marilyn Heustis, Denver, Colo. – 92-100-93–285
Patty Smogor, Centennial, Colo. – 89-104-94–287
Lyndon Lieb, Highlands Ranch, Colo. – 96-99-103–298

Marie Schriefer, Highlands Ranch, Colo. – 84-88-89–261
Janine Lowe, Littleton, Colo. – 81-101-90–272
Kay Geitner, Centennial, Colo. – 95-90-90–275
Bobby Jackson, Denver, Colo. – 93-91-93–277
Theresa Lange, Aurora, Colo. – 94-91-94–279
Vicki Porter, Denver, Colo. – 95-90-95–280
Claudia Gallegos, Lone Tree, Colo. – 102-92-93–287
Nondis Lowther, Rifle, Colo. – 94-98-96–288
Pat O’Connor, Fort Collins, Colo. – 91-105-94–290
Cindy Speer, Littleton, Colo. – 93-93-105–291
Frankie Hood, Keystone, Colo. – 92-100-103–295
Paula Maes, Castle Rock, Colo. – 102-100-98–300
Angie Pak, Englewood, Colo. – 100-99-103–302
Juliet Miner, Castle Rock, Colo. – 102-104-105–311

Norma Bisdorf, Denver, Colo. – 91-91-97–279
Sally Beswick, Littleton, Colo. – 96-99-100–295
Cindy Ortega, Conifer, Colo. – 95-102-98–295
Nancy Loftus, Englewood, Colo. – 94-98-107–299
Cindy Christiano, Franktown, Colo. – 96-96-108–300
Barbara White, Thornton, Colo. – 112-97-103–312
Susie Goldberg, Denver, Colo. – 109-96-112–317
Kathy Mansueto, Denver, Colo. – 107-108-107–322