Galileo takes first title

They were sitting at a picnic table above the 18th green at Lincoln Park Golf Course discussing their scores and the numbers just didn’t seem to be low enough.

The Galileo girls’ golf team had played a steady round under difficult conditions during Monday’s San Francisco Section final, but seemed resigned to losing to Lincoln. But then coach Don Papa walked out and reported the final score, and suddenly the sounds of celebration could be heard from chipping distance away.

It was Lions 557, Mustangs 563, meaning Galileo (7-1) had won the first girls’ golf title in school history.

“We just started screaming,” the Lions’ Alex Choy said. “We [had been] talking about how we had played and about how proud we were of the season we had, but it didn’t look like we were going to win. We were extremely surprised.”

Choy carded a 92 on a cold, foggy day at the par-70 course to lead Galileo, which now advances to Monday’s NorCal meet at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club in Ripon. The Lions will be joined by Lincoln’s Andrea Fung, who shot an 87 to win the individual title.

The Mustangs (7-1) actually had the two lowest scores of the day (Ji’min Lee carded 90), but Galileo’s depth proved to be the key as No. 4 and No. 5 players Christina Trinh (114) and Nicole Wong (130) outshot their Lincoln counterparts by a combined 38 strokes.

“It’s an upset, for sure,” Papa said. “We knew their top players were probably a little better than ours, but we felt like our second three had a little edge on theirs. And our girls just hung in there and found a way to keep grinding.”

Five of Galileo’s top six players are seniors and the win represents a culmination of four years of steady progress. The Lions went 2-4 in 2004, lost to Lowell in the final the next season by more than 200 strokes, then fell again to the Cardinals last year by just 20 shots.

Monday, they were ready.

“I think when we first started, we would get intimidated a little by the competition,” Choy said. “Maybe in the past, Lincoln would have scared us, but today, we knew we could play with them.”

Fung’s individual title represents a family breakthrough after elder sister Allison finished second in 2005 to Katrina Delen-Briones of Lowell. Her round was highlighted by an impressive 12-foot birdie putt on the par-4 11th, a 247-yard dogleg left.

“I saw my coach [assistant Tom Lovrin] standing on the side and he wasn’t smiling, so I wanted to do something to make him happy,” Fung said. “I tried an aggressive putt and figured maybe I’d get lucky, and it dropped in.”

melliser@examiner.com

San Francisco Section Championship

At Lincoln Park Golf Course

Par: 70; Yards: 4,732

GALIEO 557, LINCOLN 563

GALILEO: Alex Choy 92, Alissa Diewanich 110, Dianna Lau 111, Christina Trinh 114, Nicole Wong 130.

LINCOLN: Andrea Fung 87, Ji’min Lee 90, Amanda Lim 104, Monica Saint 119, Maria Zhoa 163.

OTHER INDIVIDUALS: Chae Kim, Lowell, 96; Katrina Wong, Washington, 106.

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