Hannah Lim claims medalist honors, leads Clackamas to district golf title
Some of the work Clackamas sophomore Hannah Lim has invested in her short game is starting to pay dividends.
Lim made four birdies and shot 1-over-par 74 Tuesday to claim medalist honors and led the Cavaliers to the team title at the two-day Mt. Hood Conference girls golf district championships at Glendoveer East Golf Course in Portland.
Lim shot 77 in Monday's opening round and trailed defending champion Elise Deschaine of Central Catholic by one shot heading into Tuesday's final round when she got hot around the greens and pulled away for a six-shot victory.
"Overall, I think I played pretty well," Lim said. "I was pretty confident going into today. I've been working on my swing and I was confident with my swing and my putting, so I was pretty excited to play.
"This is a first. I knew it was possible, but I wasn't 100 percent sure that I could do it today. I never know until I play, but I'm really excited."
Deschaine made three birdies in her opening-round 76, but didn't get any birdie putts to drop Tuesday as she finished second at 157.
Clackamas swept the next three spots — Kristin Senatra third at 161, Paige Vancil fourth at 171, and Madison Cooley fifth at 175 — as the Cavaliers posted a winning team score of 656 to runner-up Central Catholic's 730 and clinched the league's automatic team berth into the May 13-14 Class 6A girls golf championships at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.
"I always want to shoot better," Clackamas coach Steve Vancil said. We have some goals on what we want to and we also know that this is a process. What we've stressed with the entire team is we want to work on our short games and work on the progression to become better players.
"Whether it happens at state — and maybe that's where it will happen — we still have lots of room for improvement. In this tournament, if you take out three holes for two of our players, all of a sudden they're shooting 75. So, it's all about learning how to score."
Lim, playing the nines in reverse order Tuesday, starting on No. 10, opened her final round with two pars, a bogey, another par, and a double-bogey before making back-to-back birdies at No. 15 and No. 16.
At No. 15, the 444-yard par-5, Lim hit driver off the tee and then hit a hybrid that bounced onto the green about 15 feet from the hold. She missed the eagle putt, but left herself a tap-in for birdie.
She then drove the green at No. 16, the 215-yard par-4, and left a 20-foot putt for eagle about 2 feet shot before making that for birdie.
Lim then birdied two of the three par-3 holes on her second nine, first hitting a gap wedge to about 12 feet at the 76-yard third hole, and then hitting a 6-iron to about 2 feet at the 140-yard fifth hole.
"Most of my shots worked pretty well," Lim said. "I hit it straight and then got on the green and then my putting was also really good today. Chipping … not so much, but my putting made up for it."
Steve Vancil said Lim, who finished fourth at last year's district tournament, was due for a breakout round
"Hannah has put in a lot of work this year and is becoming a more gritty player," he said. "When she hits a bad shot, she's not getting herself out of trouble and putting herself in a position to score instead of just getting back out of trouble.
"She was struggling a little bit at the beginning of the year as far as not shooting the scores that she wanted, but we were really focused on her short game and that has really made a difference. And it has helped her long game, as well."
The same goes for most of the other Cavaliers, who are making their sixth consecutive trip as a team to the state tournament. They've shown steady improvement each of the past five seasons, finishing ninth in 2014, seventh in 2015 and 2016, sixth in 2017, and fourth a year ago when they brought home the first state trophy in program history.
Will there be another trophy with Clackamas' name on it at Quail Valley?
"We would like to improve on last year's fourth-place finish, but tournament golf is such a weird scenario," Steve Vancil said. "You can't just say, 'Oh, I want to finish first.' It doesn't work that way.
"The big question is when adversity comes, how do you handle it? When you get nervous, how do you handle it? Can you continue to work toward the things you need to do and keep a good attitude and be resilient? And those are the life lessons that golf teaches.
"If it happens this year where we put everything together and we win state, that's great. If it doesn't, I'm still just really happy with how they're progressing."