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Vu first-round leader at Sunset finals
LAKEWOOD – The defending CIF-SS champion is at the top of the leader board after first round of the Sunset League finals, five shots ahead of a Los Alamitos senior, looking to make school history.
And in between is Haley Wian, girls golfer from Marina, who hopes this is the first step toward realizing a goal she set for herself at the start of the season.
“It is really exciting. This is my senior year, and it feels like I have come a long way and all of the hard work is paying off,” Wian said. “It is a real honor to be playing like this, and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.”
Wian carded an even-par 37 on the front nine on Wednesday at Lakewood Country Club, placing her in a tie for second Newport Harbor’s Grace Ferrell. Fountain Valley sophomore Lilia Vu is in first place heading into Thursday’s final round at Mile Square Golf Course after shooting a 3-under-par 34. Jennifer Yu (Edison) is in fourth with a 38 followed by Los Al’s Esther Lee and Fountain Valley’s Sally Kim, who both carded a 2-over-par 39.
Should Lee, who earned an AJGA All-America First Team selection on Tuesday, be able to make up the five-shot deficit she takes into the final round, she would become the first player in Los Alamitos school history to win the Sunset League tournament four years in a row. Lee, Los Alamitos coach John Haygood said, struggled through her round on Wednesday, playing with flu-like symptoms.
The Sunset League tournament will finish up with 18 holes on Players Course at Mile Square, eliminating any advantage that the two Barons in the top five – Vu and Kim – might have had on Thursday. Mile Square is the Barons’ home course, but their regular-season nine-hole matches are played on the Classic Course.
“I like the Players Course. I think it is more of a challenge to play (than Lakewood). There is a lot more water on your drives,” Wian said. “There are more places where it can go wrong, and it’s more fun to have to play around that.”
The top seven finishers in the final round will advance to the CIF-SS Southern Individual Regional which will be played on Oct. 24 at Recreation Park Golf Course in Long Beach. That tournament will help set the field for the Southern Section Championship at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills.
For the past two years, Wian has played for the championship, but each time, her season has stopped there. This year, though, she’d like advanced out of the Southern Section tournament and earn a tee time at the WSCGA So Cal Championship, which is a state qualifying tournament.
“To get there would be awesome. I am going to try my best to win, but just to get there would be awesome,” she said. “I have been playing in a lot of tournaments, so hopefully I have been playing some more challenging courses and I will be ready to do it (advance to the WSCGA tournament).”