With an ideal year round climate and beautiful golf courses to practice on, it’s no wonder that Rancho Santa Fe is full of young golf stars. Earlier this month, two generations of Rancho Santa Fe golfers were paired at the USGA Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship qualifier at the La Costa Resort. Both pairs managed to finish at the top, earning them spots at the championship in Bandon Dunes. The championship is set to take place in Oregon in May.
Young golfers Brook Seay, 14, and Carolyn Zhao, 15, had the tournament’s lowest score of 68, while the older pairing of Michelle “Mickey” Burgess and Kate Grace finished in third place with a score of 72.
“Bandon Dunes is a spectacular golf course,” said Grace. “It’s like going to Scotland without going to Scotland. It’s a links course, so it’s walking only — as it should be — and it has really big tall grass, lots of heather, and it’s very challenging because it’s right on the coast, so there’s lots of wind.
“You can have three costume changes in one round because of the weather. The weather plays a big role in how you play the golf course. We’re very excited, and now we think we can win, because all bets are off with a course like that. Even if you can hit the ball a mile, it’s about whoever manages that course well.”
The younger pair met in junior golf and decided they would make a good pair for the tournament. Brook started golfing at age 4, with her father Gordon as her coach.
Carolyn is a native of China who began golfing at the young age of 6. She chose golf after trying ice skating, swimming and tennis. At age 7, she started competing in tournaments. She now plays at Morgan Run Golf Club six days a week in her community of Del Mar.
Said Carolyn about her partner, “She’s a really good player and we just made a great team. We cheered each other on. We were pretty excited (to have the lowest score)…”
In preparation for the Bandon Dunes championship, the pair plan on practicing on links courses and helping each other strengthen their weaknesses. With Carolyn attending Torrey Pines High and Brook at La Jolla Country Day, it’s an impressive feat.
Let’s wish these Rancho Santa Fe golf stars luck as they prepare for the big day!