The golf clubs arrived one Christmas to get it all started for Hannah Li.
Not too long after that, her parents pointed out that there was a golf course nearby. By the time she was 8, the Hamilton senior was seeing renowned coach Kent Chase and her game really took off.
But it wasn’t until this summer that her game truly came together.
“I made a major improvement when my long game started to stabilize,” she said. “My drives weren’t going left or right. My irons were going right to the green. One of the girls started calling me a pin seeker.”
There may be no better name to have in golf other than champion.
Li, who is the Tribune’s Girls Golf Player of the Year, finished for in a tie for the rain-shortened 6A Conference state championship with a 2-under 70.
The inability to play the second round and have a chance to win it all didn’t sit well at first with Li but then she realized she did all she could.
“At first I wanted that second round, but I figured tying for a state championship is pretty good,” she said. “A lot of it is luck and sometimes it pushes you through. There are some things out of your control and you have to understand that and make the most of it.”
All-Tribune girls golf first team
Hannah Li, Hamilton, Won a share of DI title, ranked No. 4 on thee year
Jenny Bae, Hamilton, Freshman ended regular season ranked No. 3 in DI
Belle Balkan, Red Mountain, Finished sixth at DI state, ranked No. 18 in DI
Tara Greig, Mesquite, Highest finisher at DII state with a tie for sixth
Emma Lower, Corona del Sol, Fourth-ranked player shot 77 in truncated state tourney
Player of the year: Li
Coach of the year: Steve Spykstra, Hamilton — The Huskies finished second in the Iwanamaker rankings and second at the one-day state meet. Had plenty of talent to deal with managed to get the girls to play together throughout the season.
All-Tribune girls golf second team
Bailey Anderson, Campo Verde, Ranked 10th in DII and finished 13th at state tournament
Toni St. John, Hamilton, Finished regular season ninth in DI and seventh at state
Maisy Alsen, Mesquite, Came in 16th at DII state after entering event No. 23
Alyzzah Vakasiuola, Hamilton, Ranked 13th in DI but only fourth on Huskies
Brooke Beyer, Desert Ridge, Finished in a tie for eighth place at state tourney
Anya Ross Desert Vista; Rachel Fujitani, Hamilton; Lorel Hayward Highland; Dakohta Kreil, Perry; Grace Balkan, Red Mountain; Reyna Hernandez, Gilbert.
– Contact Jason Skoda at 480-898-7915 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JasonPSkoda.
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