They say it’s lonely at the top, and if Thursday’s performance at Sundale Country Club is any indication, Iris Han is going to have to get used to it.
The Stockdale sophomore obliterated the field at the Southwest Yosemite League’s fourth girls golf tournament, posting a 3-under-par 69 to lead the Mustangs to a 28-shot victory over second-place Frontier.
“My drives and my putts (were my strength today),” said Han, who was even par at the turn. “I had some good drives, but I didn’t hit my irons very well. But I really just made all the putts.”
With the tournament victory, the Mustangs pulled into a tie for first place with Frontier in the SWYL standings.
Tied at even par after nine holes with Garces junior Julianna Escobedo, Han heated up on the final eight holes.
After bogeying No. 10, Han birdied 10, 12 and 14 and then sank a short birdie putt on 18 to finish with her best-ever score, just two shots off the women’s course record at Sundale.
“I’ve been playing golf for a long time and I’d call that an easy 69,” Stockdale coach Nick Kaiser said. “She’s been working hard and she got fitted for clubs. She’s changed her swing and she’s changed her putting stroke. And it all came together today.”
Prior to this season, Han’s best score in a league match was 80 last year as a freshman. She accomplished that twice last year and then shot a 79 in the South Area Championship en route to earning first-team BVarsity All-Area honors.
“I’m really happy for Iris,” said Escobedo, who had an eagle on No. 2 to briefly take a two-shot lead over Han, but she double-bogeyed the 8th hole to give it right back. “It’s really amazing. She played amazing. That’s the best I’ve ever seen her play.”
Escobedo, who earned first-team All-Area honors last year as a sophomore, did her best to keep pace, but a bogey on 10 and a double-bogey six on the par-four 18th left her four shots back with a 73. Han and Escobedo were the only golfers to break 80, with Han’s teammate Christina Xin the closest with an 85.
“(Watching her do well) motivates you to do better,” Escobedo said. “You kind of want to go for it. But I’m happy with it. I think I could have played better, of course, but I’m satisfied with it.”