Sharyland High’s Jimmy Lee has been widely regarded as the best golfer in South Texas for the past two years, maybe longer.
Now he’s tops in the state.
Lee fired a 4-under-par 68 Tuesday at White Wing Golf Course in Georgetown to finish 7-under over two days and capture the UIL Class 5A state golf championship by four strokes over his nearest competitor. He finished with a 69-68 (137).
He opened with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 1 and 2.
“That showed me right there that if I played my game, I could take this home,” Lee said. “But you can’t get ahead of yourself. Two-under can flip around pretty quickly.”
Lee said it was important to have the right mindset, especially when greeted with a three-hour rain delay.
“That made it a really long morning,” he said. “But then I had to get back into competition mode and get my mind back into golf. It was a good experience — you can’t be focused on golf 24/7.”
Lee then did the flip he talked about with a double-bogey on the par-3 No. 3. He said No. 4, the next hole, was maybe the most important for him.
“When something like that happens, you have to calm down and realize what happened and forget about it,” he said. “The next hole always is the most important, no matter what you did – you can’t focus on the last hole, it’s already gone. You need to step back into the present for what’s here and what’s not.”
Heading into the Tuesday’s second round, Lee was tied with Turner Hosch of Highland Park Blue at 3-under. He said he kept up as much as he could on where he stood on the leaderboard. He says it’s something that motivates him, knowing where he stands and who might be trying to creep up on him.
“It drives me, especially if someone else is on top of the leaderboard,” he said. “Then I have to push a little harder.
“I knew I had to shoot a good score and felt like I played the best I could play on the day.”
Lee shot a pair of 34s on both the front and back nine. He carded four birdies on the front nine and three on the back. He also had a bogey on the par-3 No. 16 and the double bogey on the par-3 No. 3.
Lee won the Region IV-5A championship for the past two years, most recently last month at Palm View Golf Course in McAllen.
Kevin Watts from Colleyville Heritage shot a 1-under on Tuesday to finish 3-under, four strokes behind Lee and in second place. Jake Holbrook of Granbury High shot 2-under and finished third.
Sharyland Pioneer’s LJ Chavez, like Lee, also advanced to the tournament as an individual golfer and shot a pair of 77s over the two-day event for a 154 total, tied for 33rd out of 72 golfers.
Only Lee and Watts shot rounds under par for each round and only Lee penciled in a pair of sub-70 rounds.
Lee had to wait for Holbrook to finish the final three holes. When Lee completed his round, Holbrook was four strokes back and Lee knew there was still a chance — albeit a slim one — for a playoff.
“If he sticks it on No. 16, it’s a par-3 and an easy birdie. Same thing with No. 17, a par 4 that can be a birdie. Then No. 18 is a par-5 and if he gets on in two, a long putt or a chip in and it’s a playoff,” Lee said. “I was kind of nervous, but it was also exciting.”
Lee has a busy tournament schedule this year, including attempting to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. He will continue his golf career next year as a Texas A&M Aggie.
“This was really emotional,” Lee said. “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time and to win state as my last high school tournament is something special. I’m so excited to bring the trophy back to the 956, back to the Valley.”