UCLA's Lee "loves school," but has eye on LPGA

Alison Lee of UCLA during Monday's first round of stroke play at the USGA's 2014 U.S. Women's Amateur at Nassau CC in Glen Cove, N.Y.

GLEN COVE, N.Y. – Alison Lee has a plan. Actually, she has a Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. The important part is that Plan A involves her turning professional in December at the final stage of LPGA Q-School. The contingency plans, of course, come into play if she fails to her card.

“If I get my full status, then I’ll turn pro,” said Lee. “If I don’t get full status, then I’ll stay for my sophomore year.”

Lee ended her freshman season at UCLA as Golfweek’s top-ranked player. She won the inaugural Annika Award and was named Division I Freshman of the Year. Lee, 19, said she denied rumors all last year that she was leaving school, telling head coach Carrie Forsyth she was committed to the program.

But because so many people asked her about turning pro over the summer, Lee said she began giving the idea serious consideration. Watching Curtis Cup teammate Ashlan Ramsey turn pro this summer also played a part.

“I feel like my game is ready,” said Lee.

She then noted that the average age of players at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst was 25 years old.

“Women’s golf is changing,” she said, “and it’s getting younger.”

This week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur will be Lee’s final USGA event as an amateur player. As the top player in college golf and a recent victor at the Women’s North and South, she’s on the short list of favorites at Nassau Country Club. She opened with a 1-under 69 to tie for fourth.

Monday marked the first day of two summer classes she’s taking in economics and English comp. Lee emailed the professors to let them know why she was missing the first two classes and said she’d check in after dinner to see what she’d missed.

A UCLA degree is still in the plans for Lee even if she does turn pro. She’s even got a four-year plan.

“I just love school,” she said.

But the LPGA is calling.

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