The University of Washington’s Henry Lee will represent Team Canada in the 2021 Spirit International. An accomplished Junior golfer and collegiate golfer, Henry Lee will share his talent and tenacity at this year’s premier amateur competition. Get to know Henry Lee in our Q&A interview below.
The Spirit: At what age did you (and/or your family) move from South Korea to Canada?
Lee: I was about 7-8 years old when I first moved to Canada!
The Spirit: You were an incredibly accomplished player in junior golf. When did you know that you wanted to fully dedicate your focus to golf?
Lee: I felt like I always dreamt about playing on the big stages ever since I was young. I always competed against older kids and had some success which gave me a lot of confidence that I had the game to compete.
The Spirit: What were the reasons you chose to further your education and golf at the University of Washington?
Lee: I chose the University of Washington because it was my dream school ever since I was young. The talent and success they had on the team over the years, with the top-notch education made it an easy choice for me. It was also close to home so I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to wear the purple and gold.
The Spirit: You can in 3rd at the 2015 Canadian Amateur while still in high school. How much confidence did you gain from that performance against so many college players?
Lee: It was definitely a great confidence booster to show that I had a game that can translate on tougher and longer courses. Playing with all these guys that were older, I was probably the shortest hitter in the field but to be able to grind scores our every day gave me that extra bit of confidence.
The Spirit: While only a freshman at Washington (2016-17), you competed in 11 team events and finished 14th at the PAC-12 Championship. How were you able to formulate consistent success in just your first year of college?
Lee: I had received some of the best coaching working with the coaches down there at the University of Washington, along with awesome upperclassmen who helped me adapt to college life helped me a ton. It was a big change for me, and I was able to learn quickly and it helped the experience that I was close with my teammates.
The Spirit: You followed your freshman year up by competing in every event as a sophomore and junior. Did you feel like you evolved into a team leader?
Lee: I believe I did because we became a very young team and I was the oldest guy by my junior year. Having played a lot of events, I tried to help out the younger guys like how my upperclassmen helped me so that they would be able to adapt quickly as well.
The Spirit: How gratifying was your breakthrough win senior year at the Arizona Intercollegiate?
Lee: It was an incredible feeling. I came close so many times but I wasn’t able to put the finishing touches but to do that in Arizona, in a playoff was just a cherry on top. It helped me realize even more that this is what I wanted to do long-term and work harder in trying to accomplish bigger things.
The Spirit: What was the initial feeling when you got the call that you are representing Canada in the 2021 Spirit International Amateur Golf Championship?
Lee: I was extremely honored and thankful for the opportunity to represent Canada at the Spirit Amateur. This is the first event that I get to represent Canada and I am super excited to be able to do so. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of bigger and more opportunities to represent the country!
The Spirit: How important is it for federations to continue to support team amateur competition?
Lee: It is extremely important because it provides amateurs with another chance to compete at a high level. Also, being able to play for your country does not happen too often and it brings that much more excitement!
The Spirit: Do you have aspirations to play professional golf?
Lee: Yes I absolutely do. My plan is to play Latin America school in November and hopefully get status to start my career. I’m extremely excited to give it everything I have for the sport I love.