In 2013, she enrolled at UCLA, where she promptly
became a big star on the college circuit. In fact, she won the ANNIKA
award for top female college golfer in 2013. She won the 2014 PAC-12
Freshman and Player of the Year award, and set the record for lowest
scoring average for a season in UCLA history. Lee also played on
the 2014 Curtis Cup team, where she achieved a 3-1-1 record.
In her Sophomore year, she continued to be one of
the top ranked college players in the country, earning PAC-12 Golfer
of the Month for both September and November.
In December, she entered the LPGA Qualifying School.
She wound up tying with Minjee Lee for first place, earning her
tour card for 2015. She turned pro and dropped out of school to
pursue her dream career on the LPGA.
Lee had a great rookie season, finishing 23rd on
the money list with over $600,000 earned. She contended in her very
first event, the Coates Championship, winding up tied for 13th.
A few events later, she again was in the mix, notching her first
top ten, a 4th, at the Kia Classic.
But Lee's best chance for a win came at the Kingsmill
Championship in May. She was leading in the third round when she
made some silly mistakes that probably cost her the title. Minjee
Lee came roaring from behind to take the title, with Alison finishing
Lee wasn't done; she managed three top tens in a
row starting at the Cambia in Portland and ending at the Evian,
where her tie for 6th was her first top ten in a Major. In the end,
she produced 6 top tens in 2015 and finished 5th in the Rookie of
the Year race. Given how many great players were in that race (three
of them won tournaments; the other player ahead of her, Ha Na Jang,
had four runner-up finishes), Alison did herself proud with that
Alison also managed to qualify for the Solheim Cup
in just one year, which is a very hard thing to do, given that everyone
else on the team had two years to amass points. But she was also
involved in the most controversial moment of the 2015 event. Paired
with Brittany Lincicome, and playing against Suzann Pettersen and
Charley Hull, Alison picked up a putt she thought the other team
was conceding. But they had not conceded, and Lee cost her team
the point and thereby the match. Many thought Pettersen was petty
for not giving the short putt after the mistake happened, but Lee
was also questioned for her action and her explanation that she
had in fact heard a concession (no one else did). It was unfortunate,
but it did cause the Americans to rally and beat the Europeans in
Lee also got a chance to play in the Hanwha Classic
on the KLPGA tour, where she finished tied for 22nd.
Lee had a terrible start to the 2016 season, but
this might have been in part because she was simultaneously studying
at UCLA. In any event, after a couple of top twenties, she went
into a tailspin, at one point missing five straight cuts. Starting
in July, however, she began to rebound, notching a tie for 6th at
the Marathon Classic, and another top ten at the Canadian Women's
The highlight of Lee's season came in Korea at the
KEB Hana Bank Championship. She was in or near the lead all week.
In the final round, Spain's Carlotta Ciaganda put pressure on her,
and Lee struggled. But she bounced back and climbed to a one shot
lead with only the par 5 18th hole to play. Alas, she decided to
go for the pin and put her approach into the water. She bogied to
fall into a playoff with Ciganda, which she eventually lost.
Lee's season wound up slightly worse than 2015:
5 top tens, $470,783 earned, 38th on the money list. She still had
full status on tour for 2017.
Lee's results took a giant step down in 2017. In
fact, she did not have so much as a single top ten all year, and
wound up just 86th on the year-ending money list. She fell to category
11 status for the 2018 season.