From Tianlang Guan’s Asia Pacific Amateur victory to Beau Hossler’s memorable U.S. Open performance at the Olympic Club, 2012 was a year to remember for boys junior golf.
Over the next 10 days, we’ll bring you the top 10 players of the year starting at No. 10 and ending with the player who we think had the most impressive season.
Who will be No. 1? Who else will make the list? Keep checking back to find out as we start you out with No. 10 on our list: Tae Wan Lee.
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No. 10: Tae Wan Lee
Golfweek/Sagarin ranking: 7
Credentials: Terra Cotta Invitational (T-2); Western Amateur (T-21); Florida Azalea (fifth); U.S. Junior Amateur (Round of 16); Western Junior (T-2); TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook (second); Thunderbird International Junior (third); Scott Robertson Memorial (T-6); FJ Invitational (T-14); Ping Invitational (T-11).
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There’s a reason why Lee’s signing with Middle Tennessee State in November was such a big deal.
Although he lacked that signature victory, Lee had arguably one of the top seasons of any junior golfer in the country in 2012. He had runner-up finishes at the Western Junior and the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Junior at Innisbrook, and added a Round of 16 appearance at the U.S. Junior Amateur. He also was the only player to go 4-0 at the Wyndham Cup at Bay Hill.
But what made Lee’s season even more impressive was the collection of solid finishes: a third-place finish at the Thunderbird International Junior and top 15s at the Ping Invitational, FootJoy Invitational, Scott Robertson Memorial and Puerto Rico Junior. He also had a good amateur showing, finishing T-2 at the Terra Cotta Invitational and posting an impressive T-21 performance at the Western Amateur.
He topped it all off by becoming Middle Tennessee State’s highest-rated recruit in the school’s history.
For a long hitter, Lee often flies under the radar. The Korean moved to Orlando, Fla., just two years ago. He admits he still struggles a little with the English language, which might explain his quiet demeanor at times.
But make no mistake, his game is anything but quiet – and his results this year have shown that.