The Palo Alto High School girls’ golf team saw its season come to a close Monday with a 6th place finish in the Northern California tournament in Salinas.
Strong performances from several players, including junior Stephanie Yu and sophomore Jasmine Choi, boosted Paly in the standings, but the team as a whole was unable to advance to the California Interscholastic Federation State Championship.
Yu, who was the medalist at the Central Coast Section tournament after facing down four other players in a sudden death round, found herself in a similar situation on Monday, when she tied with three other players and entered into another sudden death round. The golfers competed for the last open individual spot at CIF.
Despite seeing her season end along with her teams, Yu remains happy with the end result.
“I think we had a really strong team this year,” Yu said. “I was really hoping that we would be able to make it to States, but making it to NorCal was already pretty great, since we only made it to CCS last year.”
Choi has a slightly different view from Yu.
“I’m really proud of the team for making it that far even though we didn’t play as well as we could’ve,” Choi said.
Going forward, Choi says she believes that the team’s main focus should be tournament practice.
“We definitely need to practice more and be prepared for big tournaments,” Choi said. “We also need to play more 18-hole courses as a team because it’s different from playing nine-hole courses.”
Nine-hole courses are the standard matches that the Vikings played during the regular season against other schools. Tournament play consists of 18-holes, which is significantly longer.
The success of the team this year is a major step up from the 2015 season. Last year, the team was able to reach CCS, but could not advance past that stage to the NorCal tournament.
Elise Kiya, a senior on the team, is glad she decided to play golf for the Vikings.
“Golf is hard and time-consuming,” senior Elise Kiya said. “But it’s been fun and I’ve met some really fantastic people.”
With the loss of its seniors, the team will have to look towards its younger players for guidance in the future seasons.