Girls’ golf places fourth at state finals

Emma Chiu, Author

The Paly girls' golf team poses during a November match. Photo provided by Olivia Johnson.
The Paly girls’ golf team poses during a November match. Photo provided by Olivia Johnson.

The Palo Alto High School girls’ golf team closed its first-ever season as the fourth best team in the state and the top Northern California team at the California Interscholastic Federation State Championship match last Wednesday.

The top Paly finisher, junior Michelle Xie, placed eighth as an individual with a score of 74 on the Quail Lodge par-71 course in Carmel. Other notable individual performances include senior Annie Chen and freshman Emily Hwang, who both tied for 33rd with a score of 81 each.

“We just put our best foot forward going in knowing that Southern California had very strong teams,” Xie said. “I guess we might have been able to play a bit better but I’m still proud of my team for being able to make it to States and getting at that level being our first year.”

The Paly team finished with a combined score of +68 strokes for its top five finishers, averaging 13.6 strokes over par. Individual results can be found here. According to Chen, the whole tournament had been a draining experience.

“We played a five-hour practice round on Tuesday and then we practiced two hours after that, which was seven hours at the golf course,” Chen said. “On Wednesday we played another round and then we drove back the same day.”

Both Xie and Chen agree that the traveling combined with the many hours of practice the day before the match contributed to the team not playing to the best of its abilities.

The first place team, Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, finished with team score of +9 strokes, averaging 1.8 strokes over par.

With the bar set high after just one year, the girls’ golf program hopes to maintain its strong position, despite graduating a few of its players after this year.

“Hopefully next season, even though we lose two of our top four, we’ll continue to work and practice hard and see where we can end up,” Xie said.