The Thai sisters made the most of their one and only year playing together on the Los Altos High girls golf team. Senior Sophie and freshman Cami both competed on the very last day of the season – Nov. 16 at the state championships in Pebble Beach.
The Thais were among only 54 high school golfers in California to qualify for the event, and both sisters placed in the top half of it. Sophie finished 17th by shooting a 2-over-par 73 at Poppy Hills Golf Course, while Cami came in 23rd with a 75.
No medals, but many memories for the Thais.
“I was really excited,” Cami said of competing at state with her sister, “especially since it was Sophie’s last year on the team and our first time there.”
And it almost didn’t happen. Cami had to win a sudden-death playoff at the Northern California championships a week earlier in El Cerrito to land the ninth and final individual berth at state.
“I was so nervous for Cami,” said Sophie, who had seized the seventh spot. “I really wanted her to make it to state my senior year.”
Arriving on the Monterey Peninsula the day before state, the Thais had ample time to prepare for an experience few sisters get to share.
“We stayed in a hotel and shared a room,” Sophie said. “It was comforting for her to be there with me.”
The sisters went their separate ways once they hit the course, playing in different threesomes. Cami’s group teed off at 10 a.m. and Sophie’s about 10 minutes later. They both began on the back nine in conditions that Sophie described as “super foggy.”
Cami, one of the few freshmen to qualify for state, was determined to soak it all in.
“I wanted to really enjoy the experience,” she said. “I was happy to be there and had no expectations. I tried not to put too much pressure on myself and just take it one shot at a time.”
Cami’s best shot came on the fifth hole, where she sank a 20-foot putt for her lone birdie.
“That was my highlight,” Cami said. “It happened after I had been a little frustrated because I should have made a birdie on the hole before that.”
Helped by her long drives, Sophie had three birdies. She twice saved par by draining long putts.
“On (hole) 8, I saved par with a 10-footer, and that shifted the momentum for me on the last hole,” said Sophie, who rebounded from back-to-back double bogeys with pars on her final two holes.
Sophie has verbally committed to Dartmouth College. Cami said she aspires to play college golf as well.
St. Francis faced a familiar foe in last week’s NorCal Open Division final – a Mitty team it went 2-2 against prior to the Nov. 16 match for regional supremacy. The second-seeded Monarchs won this time, beating the visiting No. 8 Lancers in four sets.
Madison Pietsch tallied 13 kills for St. Francis (20-12).