Esther Lee Wins WGCA Freshman of the Year Award for CMS Women's Golf
CLAREMONT, Calif. - Esther Lee of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's golf team captured the Women's Golf Coaches Association Division III Freshman of the Year Award, Presented by Strackaline, while Keilee Bessho earned the WGCA Assistant Coach of the Year Award for the Athenas as well, the organization announced today
Lee had an immediate impact on the CMS women's golf team, helping the Athenas to a third-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships. She earned first-team WGCA All-America honors, and tied for 15th at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Lee also earned both the SCIAC Athlete of the Year Award and the Newcomer of the Year Award after earning individual medalist honors at the league championships by shooting -10 over three rounds. Included in her score was a 67 on the final day (-5), which tied the CMS record for the low score in any round.
In addition to her postseason honors, Lee was the SCIAC Athlete of the Week on March 13 after leading CMS to the team title at the Westbrook Invite at the Lakes in Arizona and earned a top 10 finish (ninth) at the Jekyll Island Invitational.
Bessho helped lead CMS to a third-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championships in her first season on the coaching staff, up from ninth place a season ago. The Athenas competed with a young roster in the postseason, with two first-years, two sophomores and a junior in their top five, and Bessho was instrumental in helping that young group break team scoring records for 18 holes, 36 holes and 54 holes, as well as the first two 67s individually in program history.
Bessho joined the Athenas after a successful stint at SCIAC rival Redlands as both a player and a coach. She helped the Bulldogs to a No. 2 national ranking as a coach in 2021-22 and finished 13th at nationals as a player in 2019, helping Redlands finish in tenth place.
About the Women's Golf Coaches Association
The Women's Golf Coaches Association, founded in 1983, is a non-profit organization representing women's collegiate golf coaches. The WGCA was formed to encourage the playing of college golf for women in correlation with a general objective of education and in accordance with the highest tradition of intercollegiate competition. Today, the WGCA represents over 700 coaches throughout the U.S. and is dedicated to educating, promoting and recognizing both its members and the student-athletes they represent.