Man­te­can wins world disc golf cham­pi­onship in sud­den death round

Manteca Bulletin - - Front Page - By VINCE REMBULAT

What a dif­fer­ence a year makes. Kenneth Lee, who suf­fered a dis­ap­point­ing one-throw loss a year ago for the Pro­fes­sional Disc Golf As­so­ci­a­tion world cham­pi­onships, cap­tured this year’s event last Satur­day in sud­den death of the Pro Mas­ters 60+ ti­tle in Kansas City, Mo.

“I was down a shot late in the fi­nal round,” said the life-long Man­teca res­i­dent who bat­tled Rick Voakes on Bowl­ing Green, KY – he was

try­ing to win his 10th world cham­pi­onship.

Lee caught a break and tied Voakes, with the two co-lead­ers fin­ish­ing mi­nus-12 un­der (308) at the con­clu­sion of reg­u­la­tion play.

It stayed tied through five holes of sud­den death.

On the sixth hole, Lee, who was cad­died by his brother Rob Lee – he, too, is a pro­fes­sional in the Pro Mas­ters 70+, and placed third in the world cham­pi­onships – crushed an up­hill drive while Voakes hit a tree and saw his drive slide down­hill, thus, mak­ing it a dif­fi­cult shot.

“I laid up from there,” said Lee, who clinched the ti­tle with an easy one-foot putt.

He re­ceived $1,800 in prize money for the vic­tory, with Voakes tak­ing sec­ond ($1,225) and David Green­well of Louisville fin­ish­ing third ($900) with a mi­nus-2 un­der.

The PDGA world cham­pi­onship event took place at Water­works Park’s disc golf course – the 18-hole course is de­scribed as a unique blend of carved and man­i­cured fair­ways with dif­fi­cult el­e­va­tions while pro­vid­ing a view of the city sky­line.

Lee, who is a 1975 grad­u­ate of Man­teca High, has been a pro­fes­sional since 1998. He rates Water­works Park among his Top 5, hav­ing played the disc-golf course three times.

He didn’t take up disc golf un­til his 40s. His brother Rob in­tro­duced him to the sport.

“We al­ways played Fris­bee golf grow­ing up,” said Kenneth Lee, who is spon­sored by In­nova Disc Golf.

Lee grew up on a two-acre prop­erty along Wood­ward Av­enue, where he made his own Fris­bee disc course – he has one to­day at his Man­teca home, call­ing it “Sun­flower Ridge.”

His brother played disc golf in Texas and was home for a visit.

“He took me to Stock­ton (Oak Grove Re­gional Park) to play for the first time,” Kenneth Lee re­called.

While he lost to his older brother that day, he found to sport to his lik­ing and, by 1998, be­came pro­fes­sional.

Lee has 103 wins to his name and has earned over $40,000 just count­ing the ma­jor tour­na­ments.

He lost last year’s world cham­pi­onships to Green­well, but bounced back with the win in Kansas City.

Lee is al­ready look­ing for­ward to next year’s event in Ver­mont.

Photo con­trib­uted

Kenneth Lee of Man­teca cap­tured the Pro­fes­sional Disc Golf As­so­ci­a­tion’s Pro Mas­ters 60+ cham­pi­onships last week in Kansas City. His caddy was his brother, Rob Lee.

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