Summer off to the right start for Wildcat golfers

West Ranch's Paige Harrison looks down range after she hits the golf ball during a Foothill League meet at TPC Valencia on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal

Coming off their freshman years at West Ranch, Wildcat golfers Zoe Campos and Paige Harrison have a little bit more to be excited about this summer other than getting through their first year of high school.

Starting the summer off by tying for seventh-place in the 27th Rolex Girls Junior Championship at the Promontory Club in Park City, Utah in June, Campos shot an overall score of 294 in the four-round tournament.

Wrapping up a first-place finish at the U.S. Girls Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifiers at Spring Valley Lake Country Club in Victorville on Monday, Campos continued to impress, ending the day shooting a 5-under 67 to win the title.

“I got there about an hour early to get in a light practice,” Campos said. “I didn’t push myself too hard that morning because I knew I would make it if it just relaxed.”

By starting early, Campos was able to shoot five birdies on the back nine holes of play and didn’t get any bogeys on the day.

With the win, Campos qualifies for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship held at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, California July 16 through July 21.

This will be the second time that Campos qualifies as she bowed out in the Round of 64 in 2017.

“I feel pretty good knowing that I’m going back,” Campos said. “I want to finish higher than the Round of 64 and show that I can play better.”

Trying to focus on her ball placement rather than how far she might go in the tournament, Campos feels a little bit more prepared for what the course and tournament will hold for her.

“I played there for state, so I have a good idea of what the course will be like and knowing where to hit it and all that,” Campos said.”

As the 2017 CIF State Girls Golf Champion, Campos’ year has shown consistent signs of improvement since winning the title last fall at West Ranch and she isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

“That win really helped me with my confidence,” Campos said. “It motivated me to win more. Win for my high school team and for myself.”

Making the 2017-2018 All-USA Girls Golf First Team, the UCLA-bound freshman shot a 3-under-par 69 to win the title.

“Well I’m just proud that as a freshman I was able to make the team,” Campos said. “Knowing that I’m there shows that I can do better and get on the team for this next three years too.”

Currently ninth on the 2018 United States Junior Ryder Cup Team Official Girls Point Standings (top six make it on the team), Campos’ spirited play on the year has earned her a total of 910 points, just 340 points off the sixth-place golfer.

“To be honest, I didn’t even know that I was on this list,” Campos said. “But now that I hear it, I feel good and if I make it, I’m excited to enjoy the competition with other great players.”

The six girls who qualify for the team will be announced July 23, following the U.S. Girls Junior Championship.

For Harrison, things have been just as hectic.

Harrison has already played in a number of tournaments, taking fourth-place in the AJGA Hale Irwin Colorado Junior held at Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster, Colorado on June 4 through June 7.

“After the first two days I was in second place, but then I blew it the third day and finished fourth,” Harrison said.

Finishing in fourth place at 2018 U.S. Girls’ Junior Qualifiers at the Las Vegas National Golf Club in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 20, Harrison shot a 73 on the day as an alternate.

“I played pretty good,” Harrison said. “It was kind of a tough course and it was super competitive. The day was kind of a grinder to get to the 73 and I had a chance to qualify, but lost in a playoff. It was definitely a great experience.”

Working on her short game throughout the year, Harrison is now ranked 27th in the Rolex AJGA rankings for the 2021 class and will continue to improve as she will have a plethora of tournaments still on the slate for the summer.

“Honestly, we are picking between a few because they are out of state, but I definitely will be in a lot this summer,” Harrison said.

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