A short time after it began, the coronavirus pandemic forced the CIF to cancel the rest of the spring sports season, which meant an abrupt ending to the high school careers of spring sports seniors around the central valley. As a way of honoring some of these outstanding seniors, our Sports Central team will be presenting a series of stories called “Senior Standouts” each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday through the end of June.
FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — From an early age, Andrew Lee had a natural feel for the game of golf.
“When I was younger, my dad had these plastic balls, and there were cups on the floor, and I would just chip ’em into ’em, just non-stop,” says Lee.
Andrew shot under-par for the first time at a par-three course when he was only 10 or 11, and broke 70 for the first time in middle school.
“I just had a really good putting day,” says Lee.
And the impressive play continued while he was at Clovis North. As a sophomore, he came close to winning an individual Valley title, losing in a playoff. And the next year as a junior, he shot a career-best 8-under-par 64 at Copper River Country Club, and won several prestigious junior tournaments. He then capped off his junior year of high school by helping Clovis North win a Valley team title in dominating fashion.
“Our (Clovis North) top guys were good,” says Lee, about his high school team in 2019, which shot 3-over-par as a team to win Valley at River Island Country Club in Porterville. “Our bottom guys, they were also able to shoot those low numbers that really helped out the team.”
All the key players from last year’s championship squad were back this season, which made the cancellation of the season even harder to take.
“I wasn’t really thinking about myself (when the cancellation happened). I was thinking about my team, cause we had a really great team this year,” says Lee. “And we could have broken records. It would have been fun this year.”
High high school career may have ended prematurely, but he isn’t done playing golf for a team here in the Valley, as he’s headed to Fresno State next year.
“I feel red looks really good on me,” says Lee.
Maybe — but you’re not likely to see this cool customer get red in the face.
“My dad always taught me that being mad on the golf course is never the right thing,” says Lee.
His longtime teaching pro Patti Liscio, a former LPGA touring professional, thinks that calm demeanor helps explain Andrew’s success as a junior.
“That’s why he can play golf well, because he doesn’t let the game upset him,” says Liscio.
Liscio has been working with Andrew for over a decade, and says Andrew is a quick learner.
“Like I could tell him something and he does it,” says Liscio.
Combine all those characteristics with his strong work ethic, and it’s no wonder Liscio thinks Andrew can take golf as far as he wants to.
“He’s on the right path, and his destination and work ethic will guide him,” added Liscio.