Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Alice Hwang of Bangor High made her first year on the boys' golf team count. Hwang, a junior, won the schoolgirl state championship with an 84 and played in eight matches for the Rams.
Alice Hwang and her family now live in Orlando, Fla., and one benefit is she can play more golf, with an eye to participating against strong junior competition.
Her stroke average was a respectable 40 for nine holes. At the state championships, Hwang got off to a fast start, then held on to win. She made a 4-footer on the last hole for the one-shot victory.
"It was a tricky putt," said Hwang. "I spent a lot of time on it."
While agreeing that she played well that day at Natanis, Hwang also expressed frustration with her play on the back nine.
"I hit it straight the whole round but I was leaving my approaches short," said Hwang.
"It was frustrating because I was making the same mistakes over and over again. I had a bogey streak like no other. My score wasn't great but I hit the ball well.
Hwang would have liked a score closer to the 70s, but her score was good enough to take home the trophy. For her performance at the state championship and during the season, Hwang is the Maine Sunday Telegram Player of the Year for girls' golf.
Hwang started playing golf at 11 with her father, Ki, who continues to be her main instructor.
"He's been my best coach. We've worked together," she said.
Hwang didn't play as a sophomore because she missed the team tryouts.
"I was away when they were having tryouts. When I came back the team was full," she said.
This past summer, Hwang played a lot of golf.
"I was preparing to play in the women's state amateur," she said.
Hwang was the low junior golfer in the tournament. When the high school tryouts arrived, she was ready.
She worked her way up to as high as fifth on the team. She played in that position for Bangor in the Class A team championship and shot a 91. Her score wasn't used in the team total, but it was a good experience and prepared her well for the individual tournament a week later.
Hwang admitted to some trepidation in joining the boys' team. She didn't know what their attitudes would be.
"They were very accepting," she said. "They're good guys. It was a comfortable environment."
Bangor Coach Rob Jarvis called Hwang "a cerebral player with a solid game."
"Alice is very steady and keeps the ball in play. She can hit her drives well over 200 yards. Alice doesn' usually hurt herself by making big numbers on holes. We had an unbeaten team and I would say her contribution to it was significant."
Hwang feels her strengths are her accuracy and her ability to focus.
"I'm pretty good at staying calm and analyzing what I have to do," she said.
Hwang is also a swimmer who competed for Bangor last season.
"I'm not as good a swimmer as a golfer, but it helped to keep me in shape during the winter," she said.
Long Maine winters are something the family won't have to worry about again. Last week the family moved to Orlando, Fla.
Hwang's one season with the Bangor golf team was her last. She said her golf was part of the reason for the move.
"I dedicate myself to doing well in school and in golf," said Hwang.
"I'm looking to excel in golf and play against some top junior competition."
Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: