Lepp Transfers to Washington Golf Team
Sept. 10, 2003
Seattle - James Lepp, a second-team All-American and the 2003 Big Ten Conference Player of the Year has transferred to the Washington men's golf team. Lepp, who will be a junior with two years of eligibility, will have to sit out the 2003-2004 season due to NCAA transfer rules. Lepp was denied appeals to the Illinois Athletic Department and a faculty review committee to be granted a one-time exemption that would have allowed him to compete for the Huskies this year.
Lepp, a native of Abbotsfort, British Columbia decided to transfer to Washington to be attend college closer to his home.
Last season Lepp was named a PING second-team All-American for the Illini. He set the Illinois single-season stroke average record with an average of 71.41 in 34 rounds of golf, breaking the previous record of 71.52, set by current PGA Tour member Steve Stricker.
Lepp became just the second golfer in Illinois history (along with Stricker) to earn Big Ten Player of the Year honors and was an All-Big Ten selection for the second straight season. He captured medalist honors at three tournaments, winning the Northern Intercollegiate, Conrad Rehling Alabama Invitational, and Bruce Fossum/TaylorMade Invitational. Lepp recorded nine top-10 finishes in 11 tournaments and tallied 20 rounds of below or even par on the season.
He was presented the Les Bolstad Award for having the lowest stroke average in the Big Ten. Lepp finished the season ranked 21st in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. His career best score is a 65 he shot at the Northern Intercollegiate.
Lepp missed Illinois' final tournament of the fall, the Duke Golf Classic, to compete for Team Canada at the 2002 World Amateur Golf Team Championships in Malaysia.
Lepp is coming off an outstanding summer that saw him win three events and reach the semifinals of the Canadian Amateur Championship. He won his second consecutive BC Amateur, took top honors with a six-stroke win at the Canadian Tour's Greater Vancouver Classic and then became the first non-American to win the Pacific Coast Amateur Championship. He won the Pacific Amateur event by 10-strokes and his 72-hole score of 263 beat the old record by seven strokes. Lepp's outing included a 62 that bettered the Capilano Country Club course record by two strokes.
The Royal Canadian Golf Association granted Lepp an exemption this summer to participate in the recent Bell Canadian Open. He failed to make the cut at that event.