City golf championship

Lee keeps his cool, captures City

ainelson@thestate.comJuly 20, 2013 

  • FINAL ROUND

    Brian Lee 72-66-71—209 Ben Karns72-66-71—212 Tom Kennaday69-71-72—212 Will Murphy70-70-72—212 Brent Roof69-75-69—213 Bryce Howell75-71-69—215 Steve Liebler73-71-71—215 Hunter Watkins70-72-74—216 Eddie Hargett72-72-73—217 David Dargan70-77-72—219 Brannan Hudson74-72-74—220 Shane Rogan69-77-74—220 Chase Sturkie71-73-76—220 Aaron Farzam73-73-75—221 Stan Rawl75-74-72—221 Robert Dargan72-75-76—223 Steve Peterson77-75-71–223 Damon Postal74-76-73—223 Jay Sylvan76-74-73—223 Bryan Drennon72-77-75—224 Sam Jackson74-74-76—224 Brooks Massey68-80-78—226 MIke Evans76-76-75—227 William Harwood78-71-79—228 Cole Krantz78-78-72—230 Grady Beard78-79-73—230 Hudson Williams82-75-73—230 Hunter Dodgen78-78-75—231 David Collins75-81-76—232 Jon Davis73-77-82—232 Kevin Hester76-79-77—232 Dan Sullivan77-76-79—232 Ken Taylor79-73-80—232 Eric Nord79-76-78—233 Jared Beard80-76-78—234 Jonathan Strauss80-76-78—234 Johnny Bowen83-75-78—236 Kyle Kimrey80-76-80—236 Dalton Olawsky77-75-84—236 Marc Fogarty77-77-85—239 Bo Williams79-78-85—242 Blair Babcock77-76-WD

Brian Lee enters two golf tournaments each year.

At his home course, The Windermere Club in Blythewood, Lee has won the club championship five years in a row. At the Midlands Chevy Dealers’ City Golf Championship, the 40-year-old had not finished higher than fifth in 12 years of competition.

That changed Saturday at Spring Valley Golf Club, when Lee carried a two-shot lead into the tournament’s third round and wound up with a three-stroke victory over Tom Kennaday, Will Murphy and Ben Karns.

Aided by a 3-under 33 on the front nine, Lee finished at 72-66-71—209.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” Lee said. “This is my moment. This is my major.”

Lee began the day with a two-shot lead over Kennaday and “the mindset to hunt, not be hunted.”

Determined to play aggressively, Lee bogeyed the first hole but did not back down.

“The bogey on No. 1 was probably the best thing for me because it calmed my nerves,” Lee said.

Hit the green in two shots on the par-5 No. 2 hole and sank a 20-foot putt for eagle.

He finished the front nine with a birdie on the par-5 ninth “and hung on for dear life,” Lee said.

Kennaday’s two bogeys on the front helped Lee to a four-stroke lead at the turn. Kennaday’s smart play on 12 — chipping out of the sand trap to within 10 feet of the pin and sinking the birdie putt — made clear that Lee’s advantage would not go unchallenged.

Playing with Lee and Kennaday, USC golfer Will Murphy got into trouble on the back nine. He had trouble finding the fairway on 12, 13 and 14.

Lee handled the course with aplomb.

“This course doesn’t favor the bombers,” he said. “I don’t hit very far, but I was able to hit fairways and move it left to right when I needed to.”

Lee played the back nine a bit more conservatively than he had intended and finished with a 38 after bogeying the final hole, another par-5.

Murphy and Kennaday each shot 72, and Karns scored a 71 to move up and into a three-way tie at 212.

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