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San Mateo Freshman Golfer Makes History

Aman Sangha becomes school’s first PAL girls’ golf champion. She leads San Mateo into next week’s CCS championships.

Aman Sangha hasn’t been around the Peninsula high school golf circuit very long.

But the San Mateo High freshman sensation isn’t wasting any time making a name for herself.

Barely two months removed from orientation drudgery, Sangha made school history on Tuesday, becoming the school’s first girls’ golfer to win a Peninsula Athletic League title.

She shot a 3-over-par 74 on an 18-hole course at Poplar Creek Golf Course.

Her closest competitor was Bearcats teammate Lisa Sasaki, a sophomore who shot a 77.

“I was really happy and excited at the same time,” Sangha said.

Sangha admits she was unaware that she was the program’s first league champion until after hoisting her trophy.

She wouldn’t have had the time to pore through the archives even if she wanted to. Sangha is way too busy these days honing her craft with a work ethic and passion for golf that her coaches say sets her apart.   

Sangha’s dedication has been integral to her emergence as a rising star on the Northern California Junior Golf circuit, San Mateo coach Jimmy Ikeda said.

“In 20 years of coaching she’s one of those kids who’s really focused, “ Ikeda said.

“She’ll spend an hour on the putting greens just practicing putting where most kids get bored after 15 minutes.

 “She’s that type of kid.”

Being “that type of kid” has helped smooth over the potentially awkward dynamic that can occur when a freshman is a team’s most high-profile player.

“I think it was a little unusual at the beginning, but she’s a really nice kid and she works hard and I think they embraced her early on,” Ikeda said.

“I think it also motivates them to do better and work harder.”

The Bearcats hope to bring that motivation to the next level.

They travel to Carmel on Tuesday for the Central Coast Section championships at Rancho Canada Golf Course.

Diana Brewer, Kristin Kanaya and Carolyn Wong, along with Sangha and Sasaki, will represent San Mateo.

The CCS tournament is a qualifier (for teams and individuals) for the Nov. 5 Nor-Cal Regional Championship at Brookside Country Club in Stockton.

The Nor-Cal championship is a qualifier for the Nov. 13 state championships (at Red Hill Country Club in San Bernardino County).

Sangha has a chance to be San Mateo’s first golfer to advance to the NorCals, Ikeda said.

“We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Ikeda said. “She played Rancho Canada before and she says she loved the course.

“Who knows.”

 

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