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  Anna tied for sixth at the CIF NCGA Girls State High School Championships

Gunn freshman 6th in the state

By Vytas Mazeika

Daily News Staff Writer
Posted: 11/17/2011 12:28:55 AM PST
Updated: 11/17/2011 12:28:56 AM PST

Not satisfied to simply be the first Gunn-Palo Alto girl to qualify for the CIF/NCGA state golf tournament, Anna Zhou wrapped up her stellar freshman season with a tie for sixth Tuesday afternoon at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

"I think she's got a very bright future," Gunn coach Chris Redfield said.

The 13-year-old, who suffered through six bogeys, battled adversity to shoot a 3-over 75 -- a round that included three birdies and nine pars. She was particularly effective on the par-3s, with a birdie on the 138-yard 17th hole.

"Golf is a really interesting sport," Zhou said. "You have to use your brain a lot and that's what I like about it."

Zhou took up the game at the age of 9 and feels that her 5-foot-9 ½ frame gives her an edge.

"Therefore I can hit it pretty long off the tee," Zhou said.


Her long swing was not at its best during a gusty afternoon, but Zhou was happy that it wasn't raining like it did during her practice round Saturday. That allowed Zhou to manage the course with her short game.

"It helped me save some strokes in some places," Zhou said.

A birdie on the eighth hole -- a 348-yard par-4 -- left Zhou at 1 over par, but back-to-back bogeys on par-5s could have meant doom. Instead, Zhou bounced back with a par on the 11th hole and a birdie on the 12th, a 494-yard par-5.

"She's very even-keeled on the golf course, and I think that's a really important characteristic for success in golf," Redfield said. "You're going to have bad holes and being able to bounce back instead of dwelling on your mistakes is very important."

Zhou was in position to claim fourth place with a birdie chance on the 18th hole, but she missed that putt and the following one for bogey.

"I missed a couple of really short putts," Zhou said.

Sophomore year could be a different story as Zhou has established herself as one of the early favorites for the 2012 state title.

"That would be nice, but I'll just try my hardest," Zhou said.

See more on San Jose Mercury News:

http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_19354834

on Palo Alto Online:

www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php

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