By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
When Anna Song steps on a golf course she does not have a number in mind of what she wants to shoot. She merely takes it one stroke at a time and adds up the score at the end of the round. She is so locked in that no one can tell if she is ahead or behind. So when Song turned in one of the finest performances in the history of the City Section Championships last Wednesday at Balboa Golf Course in Encino, it was hardly a surprise to her coach or her teammates.
“My only goal is to go out and play the best I can,” the Pali High sophomore said after firing a 6-under par 67 to win the individual title. “I don’t think my irons were my strength today but my putting saved me.”
Carding eight birdies and two bogeys, Song was one shot off her course-low of 66, which she achieved seven days earlier at League Finals.
She was on pace to match that through 16 holes before two-putting at the 17th, a short par 3. She reached the green in two at 18, rolled a 20-foot uphill birdie try one foot past the hole and tapped in for her eighth par.
“I’ve worked on my putting a lot since last year and I play every day,” added Song, who lives in Brentwood, went to Paul Revere Middle School and took up the sport at the age of 7. “I like this course, it’s pretty straightforward. I play it once every two weeks but I like to play a variety of courses. I want to play in college. I’m not so sure about the pros yet, but maybe.”
Song’s focus right now is on today’s SoCal Regionals at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena, where she was third last year with a 3-under 70.
As a freshman she was the only City golfer to qualify for the state finals and finished 18th in a field of 54 with a 2-over 73 at Poppy Hills.
“She definitely has the ability to win state by the time she graduates,” Pali High coach Dave Suarez said. “She’s that good.”
Palisades won the team title by 50 shots over Granada Hills, shooting 33 over par, four strokes more than last year when the Dolphins captured their first section title with a seven-shot victory.
Senior Chloe Rahn, who shot a 2-under par 71 to win the individual title last year when she edged Song and Sarah Amaya of Birmingham by one shot, rebounded from an 85 at League Finals to be the City runner-up with a 2-over 75. She was also second her sophomore year when she shot a 74 and lost by two strokes to Granada Hills’ Kira Reisner.
“I started off with a bogey same as last year but I only had two after that and I got a birdie at No. 5,” said Rahn, who tied Mackenzie Park of Marshall but got second with a lower back nine score. “My proudest accomplishment is winning City last year because I wasn’t expecting that. Of course, helping my team win back-to-back titles is up there.”
Rounding out Palisades’ scorers were Mandana Sahmedini (83), Katie Kim (86) and Maya Otero (87). Sierra Sugarman fired a 97, but it did not count towards the team total.
Palisades must be one of the top three teams at today’s regionals to qualify for the state finals Nov. 16 at San Gabriel Country Club.
Song’s eight-shot victory was the fourth largest margin since 2000. The record is 11 by Tiffany Yau of Van Nuys in 2011.
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