By Staff Writer Kruthi Gollapudi
Varsity Girls Golf went head-to-head against the Washington High School Huskies on Tuesday, March 16 in the second game of the season. Competing at the Mission Hills of Hayward Golf Course, the Warriors won 139-186, by a difference of 47 strokes.
New COVID-19 precautions have presented many obstacles for Girls Golf. They have limited practices to only one day per week, prevented coaching on putting and chipping, and restricted team bonding. “This season was kind of put together last second by the commissioners… so we didn’t really get a lot of time,” Girls Golf Coach Tai Chung said. “We kind of jumped into it, and having only one day of practice a week is really limited. But [the team] practices on their own often, and they do very well independently.”
After winning the first match of the season against Newark Memorial High School on March 11, the Warriors went into this match with confidence and performed up to their expectations. In previous years, the Warriors have played well against the Huskies, often beating them by around 70 strokes in 18-hole courses. “We have a lot of really good players, and Mission, we’re pretty established when it comes to golf,” Chung said.
Despite the team having 16 members compared to last year’s 26, and not a full-varsity lineup for the match, every player stepped up to the plate and helped secure the victory against the Huskies. At a par-four hole, Freshman Akshaya Ramakrishnan got on the green in one shot and ended up putting for an eagle, two under par. “I asked her before she hit, ‘Are you gonna go for it?’ And she said she didn’t think she could make it,” Chung said. “But then I urged her to try it, and then she got on, so it was a great feeling for me and her.”
One player that stood out was Sophomore Erika Gosti, who became the leader in the clubhouse, or golfer with the lowest score, by scoring five pars and one birdie. “Last year, she was our fourth-ranked player, but she finished first [this match],” Chung said. “That’s a pretty big deal for her, so that’s a lot of growth.”
Going forward, the team wants to focus more on individual improvement of skills and techniques. They have implemented a light-hearted competition amongst themselves in which the player who gets the most pars or better during each match is crowned the victor. One specific area they hope to improve in is their short game. “[Putting] is such a crucial part of the game and really affects scoring, so it’s something that we usually focus on a lot,” Girls Golf Co-Captain Senior Stella Cheng said.
Chung has high hopes for Girls Golf this season, as he considers the team the best he’s had in three years. “We went undefeated last year, and the expectation for this year is the same. I think for this season our goals are more about our personal scores rather than how we do against the other teams,” Cheng said.
Cover image by Sports Editor Anika Arora