U.S. WOMEN'S AMATEUR
Nine Questions with Andrea Lee June 28, 2017 | San Diego, Calif. By Vanessa Zink, USGA

Andrea Lee (right) was joined at U.S. Women's Amateur Preview Day by 1993 finalists Jill McGill (left) and Sarah LeBrun Ingram. (Brock Scott)

Andrea Lee, 18, of Hermosa Beach, Calif., is one of 28 exempt players in the 117th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, which will be contested Aug. 7-13 at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif.

A rising sophomore at Stanford University who was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, Lee has missed the cut in just one of her 10 USGA championship appearances, which includes five U.S. Women’s Amateurs (2012-16), four U.S. Girls’ Juniors (2013-16) and the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open. A member of the USA Curtis Cup and USA Women’s World Amateur teams in 2016, she was also a finalist in both the U.S. Girls’ Junior and Canadian Women’s Amateur Championships that season.

The 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur will be the third USGA championship conducted at San Diego Country Club. The club hosted the 1964 U.S. Women’s Open, one of the most memorable women’s golf championships of all time, where San Diego native Mickey Wright won her fourth and final Women’s Open in an 18-hole playoff over Ruth Jessen. The USGA returned to the club for the 1993 Women’s Amateur, with Jill McGill earning a 1-up victory over three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Sarah LeBrun Ingram.

McGill, who also won the 1994 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, and LeBrun Ingram joined Lee on June 27 for 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship Preview Day at San Diego Country Club. The USGA caught up with Lee afterward for nine questions.

1. What are your expectations for the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship?

It will be my sixth U.S. Women’s Amateur, so I’m going to prepare to the best of my ability and try to win it. This is a championship I’ve always wanted to win throughout my amateur career, and, hopefully, I can pull it off.

2. Are you looking forward to playing so close to your hometown?

I’m really looking forward to it. The U.S. Women’s Amateur hasn’t been played on the West Coast since I’ve been playing it. So, I’m really looking forward to having my friends and family members be in driving distance so they can come down and watch.

3. What do you need to do to play your best golf?

I’ve played in more than a few USGA championships at this point, so I’ve seen what it takes to be able to win out here. I play my best golf when I stay focused and play my own game.

4. After playing a practice round at San Diego Country Club on Tuesday, what’s your favorite hole here?

My favorite hole is 18. It’s a long, challenging finishing hole, and you need to be on the correct side of the fairway in order to have a good approach shot into the green. I think any match will have an exciting finish if it makes it to that hole.

5. What’s your favorite USGA championship memory?

It was definitely the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst when my dad was on my bag. It was so hot, and he was carrying it the whole way. Then I made the cut on the number, so he carried it for me the whole week. It was a really special father-daughter week.

6. Which club in your bag best describes your personality and why?

I’m like every club in my bag [laughs]. Sometimes, I like to really attack, especially if I put myself in a bad situation, I can be aggressive, but, most of the time, I’m pretty calm on the course and play steady golf. I like to stick with it, stay patient. So, I guess if I had to pick, I’d say I’m most like my putter.

7. What are some of the primary goals you have this season?

Most immediately, I’d like to win a couple events that I’m playing in this summer. I’m playing in the Canadian Women’s Amateur, the Southern California Amateur, the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the World University Games in Taiwan. My highest goal is to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur because it’s something I’ve always strived to achieve. I’m also really looking forward to starting my second year of college at Stanford. It’s an amazing place where I’ve really grown a lot and have learned a lot about myself both on and off the course, and I’m looking forward to seeing what next year has to bring.

8. Do you have any superstitions?

For the longest time, I didn’t like using balls marked with the number 4. I would always start using 2s or 3s, and would always leave the 4s in my box. But, recently, I shot 6 under with a 4, so now I use them too!

9. What would winning this championship mean to you?

It would top all my achievements so far. The U.S. Women’s Amateur is an incredible event with so much history behind it. Juli Inkster, who practices sometimes at Stanford with us, is a huge role model of mine. She’s won this championship three times, and it would be an incredible honor to be able to able to see my name on the same trophy as her and so many others who have won it. I’ve dreamed many times of holding that trophy, and I hope to do my best to be able to do that this summer.

Vanessa Zink is an assistant manager of championship communications for the USGA. Email her at vzink@usga.org.