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Lee masters Black Rock

August 03, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

Haeun Lee staggered early on the back nine but maintained her composure and took home first-place honors at the fourth Junior Masters Tour championship Thursday at Black Rock Golf Course.

Lee, a 17-year-old who will be a sophomore at Smithsburg, saw a two-stroke lead evaporate at the turn when she lost three shots to par on holes 10 and 11. But she regrouped to shoot a 1-over-par 73 for the title.

She was paired with Williamsport's Andrew Duff, and both battled to get the victory.

Lee bogeyed the par-4 10th hole and Duff picked up a stroke to cut the margin to one shot. Duff took the lead when he birdied the par-4 11th, while Lee double-bogeyed to fall one shot behind.

But Duff's lead was short-lived. He lost a shot on each of the next two holes and Lee regained a one-shot advantage. Lee then extended the lead to two when she zeroed in on the 105-yard 17th with a pitching wedge, knocking her tee shot within 3 feet of the cup and posting a birdie for a three-shot lead.

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A bogey on 18 dropped the final gap to two shots.

Lee started strongly with three birdies in her first five holes, playing the red tees from 5,179 yards.

"I had a nice front nine, but I was a little off my game starting the back nine," said Haeun. "I didn't hit good tee shots on 10 and 11, but I was better after that."

It was her second victory in junior golf this season. She won a Tri-State Junior event at Beaver Creek earlier this summer.

Lee's win kept the title under the Smithsburg umbrella. Brandon Sheaffer won the first two titles and Alicia Grier won last year.

Duff, who will be a senior at Williamsport, finished 36-39 on his card from the white tees at 6,236 yards.

Dustin Starliper, also of Williamsport, finished third with a career-best 77.

In the nine-hole championship, Austin Patten took home a trophy with a 45.

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