Freshman golfer earns a spot on all-star team

Michelle Ki , Feature Editor

Most of the time, older and more experienced athletes of Diamond Bar High School are the ones to make headlines. However, golfer Kailie Vongsaga is capturing the spotlight as a freshman.

Vongsaga, who started playing when she was three-years old and competed in her first tournament when she was eight, is now part of the American Junior Golf Association’s All-Star Team.

In late August, the team was created based on Polo Golf Rankings, as well as each qualifying player’s participation in at least two Junior All-Star Series competitions in 2015. With players throughout 10 different states, the team includes 10 boys and 10 girls who are considered the top 12 to 15-year-old golfers in the United States in the 2015 season.

“I was excited and happy to find out that I got into the 2015 AJGA All-Star Team and at the same time proud since I’ve worked so hard this year,” Vonsaga said.

As a member of the AJGA Junior All-Star Series, Vongsaga will be offered opportunities that will allow her to develop her skills and possibly earn entry into the AJGA Open tournaments. She will also be given an invitation to play in the Junior All-Star Invitational, which will be sponsored by Nike Golf in Oregon from Oct. 9 to 12.

Always aiming to improve and succeed, Vongsaga practices for two to three hours daily on weeks when she has upcoming tournaments. Usually, she practices three to four times a week, one to two hours per day.

“Golf makes me feel happy because it allows me to compete against players from all over the world and I get to meet new friends. I’ve kept in touch with a bunch [of] friends from the Philippines, Thailand, [and] China,” Vongsaga said.

Introduced to the sport by her dad at a very young age, Vongsaga has won the Los Angeles Junior Championships in 2014, is ranked first in the Yang Foundation Junior at Wood Ranch, has four AJGA titles overall, finished third in the ANA Inspirations Champion Junior Challenge, and is ranked 21st overall in AJGA Polo Golf Rankings. On top of all her accomplishments, Vongsaga is a member of DBHS girls varsity golf team as a freshman.

In the future, Vongsaga aspires to join the LPGA tour and has never stopped working to achieve her goals.

“My motivation to always keep practicing is to work hard and to get better each day. I’ve loved [golf] ever since I was introduced to it.”