Third-round 62 highlights state amateur win Covington’s Lee claims golf title

When you’re hot you’re hot.

When you’re hot you’re hot.

And last week at the 82nd Washington State Golf Association’s Amateur Championship at the Links at Moses Pointe in Moses Lake, nobody was as hot as Covington’s Richard Lee.

Lee fired a stunning 10-under par 62 in swirling winds in the third round on Thursday, thus taking a five-shot cushion into the final round on Friday.

Lee remained hot for the finale.

The Covington golfer shot a 1-over par 73 in Friday’s final round to claim the title. Lee’s 13-under 275 is one of the lowest final scores in the history of the championship.

But that final round wasn’t easy.

Lee bogeyed the second hole, then triple-bogeyed the par-3 third hole, making things interesting.

“My whole approach to start the round was to play steady golf, and make them come to me,” said Lee. “But that’s not what happened.”

After his shaky start, Lee settled down.

“I could have fallen apart after that start,” he said. “I really started to grind it out. I stayed steady.”

Indeed. Lee recorded five birdies over his final 15 holes and grabbed the title for good on the 11th hole, a 561-yard par-5. With a narrow landing area for the tee shot with water on the left and out-of-bounds on the right, Lee drilled a driver into a hot summer crosswind, splitting the fairway, his ball settling 120 yards beyond his two playing partners, Derek Berg and Jarin Todd. Lee birdied the hole and never looked back. Berg and Todd finished tied for second, along with defending champion Joel Dahmen of Clarkston, Wash., who shot his second consecutive 5-under par 67.

Lee will be joining the University of Washington’s men’s golf team in the fall as a junior, transferring from Bellevue Community College.