When Sophie Liu completed her 2015 high school golf season and her Viera High varsity career, she ended her final round certain that she had done all she could and that her preparation had paid off.
Liu finished the final regulation round of the Class 3A state tournament tied for first, and though she lost the third hole of a playoff to finish as the state runner-up, that represented her growth into a legitimate state contender.
Next in her golf career, she will report to the University of Iowa in early August as a scholarship athlete. She will do so as FLORIDA TODAY’s Girls Golfer of the Year.
One focus of her growth as a senior was mental preparation.
“I guess it worked, keeping calm and relaxed throughout the round, not caring too much what the other players shoot,” she said. “The other girl beat me, but it’s OK because I think I did very well to get to that point.”
Part of her mental game focus was studying what other golfers and experts had written about it. That’s not uncommon for golfers, but Liu truly embraced the importance.
“You have to be tougher if you want to play at a higher level,” she said. “Mental toughness is a thing you can’t see. Most people focus on their swing or how things look.”
Liu already had the swing, and as a Hawks senior she added to success she’d already experienced. That included winning the Cape Coast Conference title with a 1-under 71 at Mallards Landing.
Liu shot 74 at Royal St. Cloud to place third in District 16-3A and led her team to the Region 6-3A title while shooting 77 on a windy day at Pointe West Country Club in Vero Beach.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_McCallum and facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum.
All-Space Coast Girls Golf
Samantha Brimhall, Junior, Viera
Sophie Lui, Senior, Viera
Taylor Rajeski, Senior, Viera
Dayna Owens, Sophomore, Viera
Delia Timpy, Sophomore, Cocoa Beach
Greg Ford, Coach, Viera
Katie Arnott, Sr., Viera
Jessica Bissey, Sr., Melbourne
Elise Boccabella, Fr., MCC
Abby Houchin, Sr., Merritt Island
Olivia Timpy, 8th, Cocoa Beach
Gabriella Collura, Jr., Merritt Island Christian
Trinity Falzone, Soph., Viera
Amber Faubel, Sr., Satellite
Enya Torsney, Jr., Holy Trinity
Carrie Walk, Sr., Melbourne