Andrea Lee has joined Stanford teammate Albane Valenzuela in announcing that she will pass up the Spring Season and turn pro after earning her PGA Tour card by finishing in a tie for 30th at the recent Q-Series at Pinehurst Resort www.pinehurst.com/Golf-Resort in Pinehurst, N.C.
Lee, a senior from Hermosa Beach, set a Cardinal record by claiming her ninth career victory early this season, winning the Molly Intercollegiate by a whopping 26 strokes at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Ore., in her only start of the Fall Season.
“I’m beyond excited to play professionally next year and pursue my lifelong dream since I was five years old,” Lee said in a post on Instagram. “I can’t thank my parents enough for everything they’ve done—for all the sacrifices, love, and endless support. Everything that we’ve been through has paid off and I can’t wait to start the next chapter of my life. 2020 here we come.
“I know the program is going to be taking a pretty big hit with both of us gone. Honestly, I feel really sad about it, leaving my teammates and not giving us the best chance at possibility winning the national championship.”
Lee, was No. 3 in the latest World Amateur Golf Rankings, but earned the 2019 Mark H. McCormack Medal because she was No. 1 in the rankings at the end of the year.
A three-time All-American at Stanford, Lee also was the 2014 Rolex Junior Player of Year; was a semifinalist in the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur semifinalist, silver medalist in 2015 Pan American Games, won the 2015 Southern California Amateur champion, and finished second in the 2016 Canadian Women’s Amateur and U.S. Jr. Girls’ Championships.
In addition, she represented the United States in the 2016 Curtis Cup and the World Amateur Team Championship.
“I cannot put my entire amateur career into words right now,” Lee added. “I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish, not just with Stanford, but even before then in my high school days.
“I was pretty consistent at every level. I just feel that I’m ready to take the next step and compete at the professional level. It has been my lifelong dream since I was 5 years old.
“ … It was really hard for sure. I had people telling me to stay, people telling me to go. Ultimately, I chose to turn professional, knowing that it was the best decision for me and my career. Just trusting my own gut.”
Lee plans to graduate with her class next Spring with a degree in Science, Technology and Society.