Tain Lee '12 Makes The Cut in First PGA Tour Event
LA JOLLA, Calif. - Tain Lee (CMC '12) earned his way into his first career PGA Tour event when he was a co-medalist in the qualifying round of the 2021 Farmers Insurance Open last Monday, and he made his debut count, making the cut with a -1 after two rounds and finishing in the top half of the 156-golfer field.
Lee was a bit unlucky on Friday, as he was playing his best stretch of golf on the weekend with three birdies in the first five holes of the back nine to move to -3 for the weekend. Bad weather conditions forced play to halt, and he had to complete his round a few hours later. He managed pars on 16 and 17 to give himself some breathing room, and made the cut on the number when he reached the clubhouse at -1.
A quick start to his PGA career also proved to be helpful as Lee opened up his first round on Thursday with a birdie, and then added a second birdie on his third hole to start out -2 after three holes. He finished his first PGA round in the red at -1 and then had an even-par 72 in his second round on Friday to make the cut, which was only 79 golfers out of the original 156-player field.
Safely through to the weekend, Lee closed out his tournament with a 75 on Saturday and a 74 on Sunday, leaving him at +4 for the weekend and tied for 69th overall. Lee also ended his tournament on a high note, closing at -2 over his final six holes with birdies on No. 4 and No. 6 (after starting his round on the 10th).
Qualifying for the Farmers Insurance Open was a landmark moment for Lee, who has played professionally on smaller U.S. tours and in Canada since graduating from Claremont McKenna. He needed to sink a tricky putt just to earn a spot into Monday's final qualifier, which had 96 competitors vying for the final four spots in the field. In difficult conditions that included rain, wind, and occasional hail, Lee shot a 69 to tie for the low round of the day, earning him a spot in his first career PGA event.
Patrick Reed was the individual champion of the Farmers Insurance Open with a -14, winning by five strokes. Lee ended his 72 holes tied with K.J. Choi, which was three strokes behind multiple-major winner Phil Mickelson after Lee had the distinction of playing even with him for the first two rounds. Some of the well-known names who finished behind Lee and did not make the cut include Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka, among others.
As a member of the Stags, Lee captured the 2010 NCAA Championship with a four-round score of 280 (-7), becoming the first member of the program to win an individual title. The second-place finisher was Mitchell Fedorka of SCIAC rival La Verne, who now serves as the head coach for Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. Lee nearly made it two straight individual championships at the 2011 NCAA Championship before settling for a runner-up finish and adding a fifth-place finish in 2012. He was a first-team All-American all four seasons, while also earning the Jesse Clark Sportsmanship Award from the SCIAC in addition to all-league honors.
To view the final Farmers Insurance Open Leaderboard, head to the following link:
Farmers Insurance Open