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Lehman Sets Own Terms In Work And In Play

Like his younger brother Tom, Jim Lehman has long made a living in golf. Only he has been doing that on the business side of the sport, representing touring pros, managing golf events and helping his sibling run a course design firm. Lehman also was one of the founders of the Windsong Farm Golf Club in Minneapolis and served for a while as the president of that retreat as well president as of the Minnesota Golf Association. The game for him hasn’t been only about work, however, and Lehman has competed in tournaments – of the amateur variety – for years. To date, he has qualified for eight USGA championships, including one U.S. Amateur and ive Mid-Amateurs. Lehman also won the 2003 Minnesota Mid-Am and is a fixture on the Mid- and Senior Amateur circuit. He regularly tees it up in events such as the Crump Cup, the Lupton and the Travis, and finished T12 in the senior division at last week’s George C. Thomas Invitational at the Los Angeles Country Club. And now that he is 55, Jim Lehman is finding new life as a senior. In late January, he placed fifth in the first senior amateur tournament he entered, the Crane Cup. Then he won his next event, the Society of Seniors Spring Classic. “There aren’t too many people who can say they turned their passions into a career,” Lehman says. “But I am one of the fortunate ones in that regard.” He also admits to being lucky – and good – enough to play elite amateur tournaments. “I love the preparation I have to do for tournaments, and I love playing in them,” Lehman says. His goal, he adds, is to one day contend for a U.S. Senior Amateur championship. And maybe even win one. Trim and soft-spoken, Lehman well remembers his introduction to golf, from his late father, Jim Sr., an NCAA Division III college football standout who went on to play for the Baltimore Colts in the late 1950s. “He used to take Tom and I out to this big, open field and hit shots with his 5-iron that we would try to catch with our baseball gloves,” Lehman says. “We had a good time doing that, but my mother soon put a stop to it. She worried one of us would lose sight of a ball and get hit.” Lehman entered his first junior tournament when he was 8, and Tom a year younger. “We were tied for the lead at the end of regulation play and went to a playoff,” Jim says. “I ended up winning, but I haven’t beaten Tom since.” Jim Lehman competed on his high school team, but it was only one of several sports he played. “Golf was just one of many things we did as kids because it was just too hard to be a full-time golfer in Minnesota,” he says. Lehman was good enough to make his college team at St. John’s University in the Gopher State, and to captain the squad for three of the four years he played there. But then he went off to law school at Hamline University in St. Paul after graduating from St. John’s, and then became a civil litigation attorney as well as a partner in a Minneapolis law firm.


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