Full Results | Lee Interview

The Gateway PGA hosted its annual Match Play event at St. Clair Country Club on May 22-24. The 44-person field made for an exciting tournament as nine matches extended past 18 holes. Prevailing through the three-day tournament was Sam Lee of Spencer T. Olin GC, who defeated Matt Swanson of Forest Hills CC on Wednesday afternoon.

Lee started the round of 64 with a bye before facing Miquel Romera Marco of Old Hickory CC in the round of 32. In that match, Lee trailed by three through 10 before rallying back to take the match 3 and 1.

In the round of 16, Lee and Steve Hausmann of Tapawingo National GC extended their match, playing a total of 21 holes. The back-and-forth match saw each player up by as many as two. Hausmann drew the match even on 17, followed by both players finishing with par on 18 to force extra holes.

Lee and Justin (JD) Auping went head-to-head in the round of eight. Lee caught fire and was six-under through six, including an eagle on the par-five, 482-yard sixth hole. Through the front nine, Lee shot 32 (-4) and Auping sat at 33 (-3) while Lee was 2-up. Tied after 15 holes, Lee birdied 16 to take the one-hole lead. Heading into 18, Lee retained the one-hole lead and kept extra holes away from the match as he sank a putt to tie the hole and move to the semifinals.

The semifinals marked a showdown between Lee and Shane Blankenship of Osage National GC on one side, and Swanson against Matt Gindler of Greenbriar Hills CC on the other. Swanson solidified his spot in the finals with a 3 and 2 win. Lee, on the other hand, grinded out an extra hole to take his spot in the finals. In the penultimate match, Lee won hole 18 to force the extension and kept the momentum rolling into the finals.

As Swanson and Lee teed off just past noon, Lee took the first hole with a par before the two tied holes two and three. Feeling the momentum from the earlier match, Lee widened his lead as he won holes four, five, and six with a par and two birdies. Swanson slowed Lee on number seven to take a hole off his deficit. Lee clapped back by finishing the front nine with a pair of wins. As the two made the turn, Swanson took the par-three tenth as he looked to push the match to the full 18. Both players wrote pars on their scorecards on the next two holes.

Lee put pressure on Swanson by taking hole 13 to extend his lead to five with five to play. The duo teed off on 14 with Swanson on the green in two and Lee on in three. Swanson looked over a long putt that didn’t drop, which allowed Lee to knock in a birdie to tie the hole and seal the match.