MADERA, Calif. (KSEE) – On Monday of this past week, Alex Lee returned to the central valley to play golf at a course he knows well: Dragonfly Golf Club in Madera.
“I mean, I’ve played this course hundreds of times,” smiled the former Fresno State golfer. “So, you know, during my four years here, so I know the course pretty well.”
The local knowledge paid off.
Lee, a native of Sacramento, shot a 7-under-par 66 to win the U.S. Open local qualifier that was held at Dragonfly. He moves one step closer to possibly qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
“The 2008 U.S. Open is one of my favorite U.S. Opens of all-time,” said Lee, referencing the last U.S. Open to take place at Torrey Pines when Tiger Woods won the tournament on a broken leg. “So, you know, I always watch that one. And I’ve always dreamt about playing it, so we’ll see what happens.”
Alex Lee’s Monday stroll at Dragonfly took place alongside his caddie for the day: former Fresno State associate athletic director Paul Ladwig. That brought back some great memories from Lee’s time as a Bulldog.
“We kept talking today about all the good walks we’ve had,” said Lee, who played at Fresno State from 2015-2019, qualifying for two NCAA Regionals. “I loved my four years as a Bulldog, extremely thankful for the opportunity to play D-I golf. And the support we got from the valley was awesome.”
These days, Alex Lee is working on a bigger goal of trying to play on the PGA Tour. He had a solid finish at Asian Tour Qualifying School last year, and was destined for the Asian Development Tour, before everything was shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I looked at that time as a positive,” he said. “In a sense, I was able to work on things that I couldn’t have worked on if I was playing a full schedule. So, I feel like, in that year, I’ve become a much better player.”
This year, Lee is targeting qualifying school for the Korn Ferry Tour, the PGA Tour’s developmental circuit. In the meantime, he continues to rely on the support of his family.
“It’s tough for sure,” he said. “It’s expensive, there’s lots of travel, entry fees are expensive and then Q-school is a couple grand.
“So, yeah. It’s tough, but I’m gonna do it for as long as possible.”