Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Unrelated Lees in Golfing Monopoly

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Unrelated Lees in Golfing Monopoly

Article excerpt

RICKY Lee, one of the favourites for The Journal Champion of Champions, is unrelated to Karen Lee but the namesakes share a distinction of having won county trophies this season for their club, Tyneside.

The Durham County Championship was captured by Ricky at Whickham, a month after his amateur status was restored following two-and-a-half years as a professional.

Karen, a talented all-round sportswoman, has captured the Durham Ladies Veterans title for the second year running, again beating her close friend and fellow Tyneside member Pat McIntosh, a former Miss UK beauty queen, in the final at Hartlepool.

The 26-year-old Ricky, now training as a plumber, is grateful to his father Stephen for advice which helped him add the championship to the county matchplay title he won at Darlington five years ago.

Stephen, a single figure golfer and an industrial roofer, was on his son's bag during a rain-swept weekend at Whickham.

That was plain sailing through two solid Saturday scores of one-under 67.

The following day Ricky was three over after four holes and it was then Stephen reminded his son of the "lovely golf" he had been playing the day before, advising him to "settle down and just keep it going".

Ricky promptly pulled off a fine recovery shot from a bunker at the fifth and eventually signed for further rounds of 71 and 70 to win by one shot from Brancepeth Castle's Michael Curry.

Lee, who plays off plus two, spent time on the Europro Tour and the Sunshine Tour in South Africa. He cites a lack of sponsorship and the expense involved in playing Europro as the reasons for reverting back to amateur status.

Whether or not the former Ryton Comprehensive School pupil captures the Tyneside club championship on July 14, he will play in the Journal event at Close House on September 9. Durham skipper Bryan Ross has already decided that, as county champion, Lee will be one of the six captain's picks for the Champions by his county. …

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