MURRIETA, CA – Han Seop Lee of Chino Hills secures the 26th Inland Empire Amateur Championship title after posting a three-day, eight-under par, 207 over Labor Day weekend.
Lee finished ahead of 180 players competing in the 54-hole Championship that was contested over three courses in the Inland Empire. Lee’s name will join two PGA TOUR winners in Brenden Steele (2003) and Aaron Wise (2015), in addition to back-to-back California State Open Champion David Gazzolo (2016).
Han Seop opened up the championship at Oak Valley Golf Club with a blemish-free 68, only to find himself three strokes behind round one leader and defending champion, Edwin Kuang of Murrieta who posted an opening round of 65.
Han Seop went on a tear in the second round at Goose Creek Golf Club, clawing his way to the top of the pack, carding an eight-birdie round of 64, and 11-under par for 36-holes placing him two-shots in front of Kuang.
With the final round hosted at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Bear Creek Golf Club, things quickly shaped into a two-player race to the finish between Lee & Kuang, each SCPGA Junior Tour Alums, in late afternoon windy conditions. Making the turn, Lee’s lead grew to a five-stroke advantage and never looked back. The difficult Nicklaus course proved to be a test, as Lee posted a 75 en route to a four-stroke victory!
Congratulations to First Flight Champion Edwin Rabanal of Corona with rounds of 76-75-81 and Second Flight Champion Gary West of Riverside with rounds of 78-77-80.
Special thanks to the host facilities; Paul Hjulberg, PGA with Oak Valley Golf Club, Ross Fisher, PGA with Goose Creek Golf Club and Tim Gardner, PGA with Bear Creek Golf Club.
Thank you to patrons Ed Holms, The Grove, and Alvarez Jaguar Lincoln for their support of 26-year-old Amateur Championship!