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Fountain Valley's Vu is 2011 girls golfer of the year
She walked down the fairway at The Golf Club at Rancho California after her second shot on the par-3 No. 16 rolled off the front of the green.
To put it mildly, Lilia Vu was not happy with herself because until that shot the Fountain Valley freshman was making a move toward the top of the leaderboard at the WSCGA So Cal Championship in Murrieta.
She had to hole her next shot or risk losing her momentum, so she lined up her chip with the break on the green and let the ball fly. The result couldn’t have been any better as the ball slowly rolled into the hole. Par saved.
Throughout the CIF-SS tournament season, the Orange County Register's Girls Golfer of the Year for 2011 came up with clutch shots. She won the Southern Regional Individual title after carding a 4-under 70 at Recreation Park Golf Course in Long Beach, finishing three shots clear of second place.
She followed that up with a 2-under-par 70 at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente to win the Southern Section championship.
“I did (exceed her expectations) because I tried my best, and I cared about my game, not what the other person in my group was doing,” said Vu, who medaled in all but one of the 15 matches the Barons played during the regular season. “I just hate not doing what I could have done.”
It turned out that par-saving chip on that par-3 in Murrieta was a big reason why she qualified for the CIF State tournament as an individual. Had she missed it, she would have dropped a shot, which would have left her out of the sudden-death playoff that determined the final four spots at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach.
The first playoff hole was the par-5 No. 1, not exactly the one she wanted to see because she posted a double-bogey seven on it during her round.
“I told myself this is a playoff, so forget that and do as good as I can,” she said.
It was sound advice as she rolled in a par putt and advanced to the state tournament.
To put in perspective what she did, consider this: From an area which basically stretches from Fresno to the Mexican border, she was just one of nine girls to make it to the prestigious high school tournament as an individual. And she did it as a freshman. Vu posted a 4-over-par 76 at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach during the state championship which put her in a tie for eighth.
"I want to win it next year because I know I can do better,” Vu said.