Ryan Lee Shoots Second Round 68, Secures 87th Public Links Championship
HAMBURG, N.J. - Ryan Lee fired a bogey-free second round 68, carding a 36-hole score of 5-under par to capture the 87th New Jersey State Golf Association Public Links Championship at Ballyowen Golf Club in Hamburg. Lee shot a 1-under par 71 in the morning session, before turning things up a notch in the windy conditions during the afternoon session.
“I feel like all of it really came together on the second 18,” Lee said. “I have to thank my dad. He really kept me grounded mentally. I felt like I had a couple of strategic errors this morning that got corrected this afternoon. A couple of lucky breaks here and there, but just put together a good round.”
Lee made five birdies and four bogeys during his first round of 71. At that point, he was tied for third place, two strokes behind Vince Palazzolo. With wind gusts increasing in the afternoon, conditions toughened for the entire field, but Lee kept his foot on the gas. He opened with a birdie on the 10th hole and did not look back.
“I probably have to give it to my short game,” Lee said. “My chipping and putting today was great. I was able to save it from pretty much everywhere. Also, my shots into the green were pretty solid. I really kept it low and under the wind.”
Lee’s previous top mark in an NJSGA event had been a tie for fourth place at the 2019 NJSGA Amateur Championship at Arcola Country Club. The rising Penn State senior was making his Public Links Championship debut after qualifying at Francis Byrne Golf Club two weeks ago.
“This is a great feeling,” Lee said. “This is a great way to end the summer. I go back to school in three days. This was a great ending for me.”
Vince Palazzolo, the leader after the first round, finished solo second with a 3-under par 69-72-141. He was the only other player in the field to finish under par. Gavin Rau shot 72-74-146 (+2) to earn third place. Four players - Robert McHugh, Christopher Lee, Ethan Lee, and David Sampson - finished tied for fourth.