Newberry College golfer Daniel Lee recently earned a berth in the Pinnacle Exceptional Driver Championship in Laughlin, Nevada, to air on ESPN and ESPN2 over the Thanksgiving weekend. 128 individuals qualified for the tournament held November 9-12, as Lee won the local qualifying contest at Georgia National Golf Club in McDonough, Ga. in July.
The scoring was based on a combination of distance and accuracy. Varying point values were awarded based on where the ball landed in a grid. At Georgia National, Lee drove all five balls farther than 300 yards, placing two of those more than 320 yards away. His qualifying score was in the top 20 nationally.
The junior from Lincolnton, Ga. survived the first two cuts in Nevada, but unfortunately failed to make the round of 16 by a single stroke. First prize in the tournament was $50,000 and a 2006 Honda S2000, which Lee would have accepted and forfeited his amateur status and thus ended his collegiate golf career had he won.
The upside, for Newberry golf anyway, is that Lee will continue to play with the squad in the spring. The Indians’ first event in the new year is the Outback Intercollegiate in Panama City, Fla., from February 5 to February 7.