17-year-old Erynne Lee is older, wiser
CHARLOTTE--Reaching the quarterfinals of the U.S. Women's Amateur is nothing new to__Erynne Lee. Two years ago at Eugene CC, she advanced to the semifinals at the ripe old age of 15 before losing to eventual champion__Amanda Blumenherst. At the same time, though, Lee believes this year's journey is different in a variety of ways.
"I felt like I had nothing to lose [in 2008], so I didn't really realize how far I was going," said the Silverdale, Wash., native, who is in the midst of her fourth straight week on the road.. "Now it's a different situation because now that I've gotten older, and more mature, there's a lot more to go after."
Growing up was a theme Lee learned about this past summer after she was involved in a bizarre ruling regarding her wedges and the USGA's new groove rule. Lee competed in qualifying for the U.S. Women's Open and was understandably elated when she managed to earn a spot to Oakmont in a playoff. The celebration had barely quieted down, however, when rules officials began to check her clubs after questions arose as to whether Lee's wedges confirmed to the new grooves guidelines. Sure enough, two of the three were did not conform, causing Lee to be disqualified.
"I didn't know that they weren't conforming," said Lee, "It was an embarrassing situation. But it was a big lesson, a life lesson. Don't take anything for granted. Always double and triple. Not to rely on your parents doing anything for me.
"It took me a while to think the situation was beneficial. The way I see it, it's a big lesson for me moving forward."