Anica Yoo would rather be golfing.
The Port Coquitlam athlete will spend the next few weeks catching up on her school work, hitting the practice range and taking time to celebrate her 20th birthday — which comes next week.
Yoo became the school’s first women’s golfer to win a tourney title outright since 1997, leading her squad to the tourney title at the Rose City Collegiate in Aurora, Ore. on Monday.
Coming after last week’s major win, the Oregon State Beavers golfer could be excused for wanting to jump right into the next tournament swinging.
“To be honest, I was telling my teammates how badly I wanted to win and how it still hasn’t really sunk in,” Yoo told the Tri-Cities NOW. “I’ve been doing homework, doing interviews — it’s all a blur.”
Such is life of a campus star.
A junior at the Corvallis campus, Yoo has been a contributor to the Beavers’ golfing results since joining them three years ago. She hasn’t missed a tournament, not even as a 17-year-old rookie right out of Terry Fox Secondary.
Her performance over the two-day, rain-shortened Rose City event was somewhat rollercoasterish, she noted.
A red-hot opening round saw Yoo lead the pack with a three-under 69 and entered the final 18 holes Monday with a good start — posting a par and back-to-back birdies.
It was followed by a bogey, and a few holes later, a double-bogey on a par three.
“It helped to talk to my coach (Rise Alexander), she kind of followed me after that,” said Yoo. “I was nervous and told her how badly I wanted to win. My hands were shaking — it was more excitement than anything else, but she helped get me back on track.”
The former B.C. junior champion finished the final round with a 73 and two-under over 36 holes. Along with some solid performances from her teammates, it clinched the 15-team event for Oregon State — the Beavers’ first tourney title in four years.
“My confidence level came back up with (coach Alexander’s) help. I think the last five holes really helped me — on the 13th (hole) I hit water and when I made that shot I wanted to just run in the water.
“(Alexander) really helped me, because the next hole I birdied and I think that got my confidence back up.”
Her polished first round at the 6,080-yard Langdon Farms Golf Club seemed a carry-over from her finish in New Mexico two weeks earlier. After starting that tourney with a disappointing 79 on the first day, Yoo posted a two-under 70 and recorded five straight birdies en route to finishing 18th.
She launched the Rose City tournament in a positive frame of mind, with the results showing on the board.
“That first round (in Aurora), it was wet and cold but I enjoyed it a lot,” she said. “I was playing with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while and it was just like a good time — we got to catch up on what we were each doing, it was like we weren’t even thinking about golf.”
That success caught up to her on Monday, but provided an important taste of pressure that she feels confident will be an important bridge going forward.
“I heard how our team hadn’t won (a tournament) in over six years, and we really wanted it. That was a lot of pressure.”
For the next few weeks, school and the candles on her birthday cake will suffice.
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