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Lee now has a familiar name

December 10, 2007|By TIM KOELBLE

Only Smithsburg golf coach Dan Neff knew about Haeun Lee early in the spring season.

A few months later, there aren't many that don't know about the Smithsburg sophomore, recognized as The Herald-Mail All-Area Player of the Year for 2007.

Neff said Lee's family was living locally for about two months before moving to Texas when Lee would have been a freshman at Smithsburg.

"The family came back sometime early in the spring, so we got her signed up for the summer golf tournaments," said Neff. "I knew about her, kept an eye on her.

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"When I knew she would be here for the school year, I knew the void with Alicia (Grier) would be filled."

After a prep season in which Lee averaged 38.0 per nine holes, she qualified for her first Maryland state tournament. She finished second with a 4-over-par 150, best in the state among players from Class 1A-2A.

"This honor surprises me, but I am very excited about it," said Lee. "At the beginning of the year, my goal was to reach the state tournament."

Lee won the 16-18 age division titles in the WACO Juniors and Junior Masters last summer and was second in the Tri-State Juniors.

Lee enjoys math in school and enjoys working with low numbers on the golf course even more. She said she takes notes wherever she plays, hole-by-hole.

"When I get done, I make yardage book with the clubs I used and put it all together," said Lee.

"It's part of her course management," Neff said. "Her short game got better and she has the ability to control the golf ball."

Neff said he is working with Lee's family getting her into some Titleist and American Junior Golf Association tournaments next year in addition to those she'll play in the Tri-State area.

"She is the type of individual that takes everything in stride," said Neff. "She stays with something until she masters it and she showed you can do that with hard work."

Lee is joined by five other golfers on The Herald-Mail All-Area team.

· Andrew Duff, Williamsport: A senior, Duff was the top male golfer in Washington County and finished with a 38.6 average for 9 holes. He was 21st in the Maryland 1A-2A state tournament. He will attend Fairmont University to play golf.

· Justin Stambaugh, Jefferson: A senior, Stambaugh had a 39.6 average and garnered a spot in the West Virginia state tournament. He was the most consistent golfer in the Eastern Panhandle all season and hopes to play golf at Shepherd.

· Nick Tornetta, Chambersburg: A junior, Tornetta had a breakout year as the top scorer in the Tri-State, averaging 76 per 18 holes. He won a pressure-packed playoff in the regionals to earn a state tournament berth, where he finished 28th.

· Liz Breed, Waynesboro: A sophomore, Breed's future is bright. She finished 12th in the PIAA state tournament, which included a 74 in the first round, won the District 3 title and averaged 40 per 9 holes, playing mostly from men's yardages.

· Kacy Straub, Chambersburg: A sophomore, Straub also has a great future ahead of her. She shot a 72 in the PIAA regionals to qualify for the state tournament, where she finished 21st, and also averaged 40 per 9 holes, often playing from the men's yardages.

Golfers accorded Honorable Mention include:

Derek Baker, Waynesboro; Alec Kessler, Waynesboro; Tyler Straub, Chambersburg; Ryan Coccagna, Chambersburg; Jake Yoder, Martinsburg; Tyler Fairley, North Hagerstown; Ryan Redick, Berkeley Springs; Dustin Starliper, Williamsport; Robby Suddith, South Hagerstown; Shane Wollaston, Greencastle; Becky Gossard, North Hagerstown.

The Herald-Mail All-County team consists of 10 golfers, with season scoring averages on a 9-hole basis:

Lee (38.0, Duff (38.6), Fairley (41), Gossard (43), Suddith (41), Starliper (42), sophomores Chris Bushey (41) and A.J. Minnich (42) of Smithsburg, junior Joey DeMartino (42) of Boonsboro and senior Andrew Mueller (42) of South Hagerstown.

They were recognized by coaches from the Antietam and Piedmont conferences.

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