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This young lady has been golfing since she was a child, and she leads the pack at Cleveland High

DAVID F. ASHTON - Her club is a blur, as CHS sophomore golfer Kyra Ly swings at the Eastmoreland Golf Course Driving Range. Cleveland High School sophomore Kyra Ly was one of two youths named "Oregon Junior Golf Player of the Year" for outstanding performances in 2019 by the Oregon Golf Association (OGA) this fall.

According to OGA records, Ly won her division at the 22nd Oregon Junior Stroke Play, Central Willamette Valley Junior, and Klamath Basin Junior, major tournaments – as well as a victory at the Glendoveer Junior sanctioned tournament.

Ly also played in regional competitions – and finished first among all junior golfers in the Oregon and Southwest Washington "team points" competition with 365.00.

"My family has always played golf, so I started playing when I was 11 years old or so," Ly told THE BEE before hitting a bucket of balls at Eastmoreland Golf Course on a recent rainy afternoon.

She didn't start with miniature golf, either. "Actually, I'm not very good at that," Ly said with a shy smile. "I just started practicing at golf courses and driving ranges, more and more – until I got good enough to start playing in tournaments."

About the OGA award, Ly commented, "I was really surprised about it, because I'm a little younger than most of the girls I play against who are 17 and 18-year-olds, and they play well.

"I really like the game of golf; for me, it is really satisfying when I play really well, and place high in the leaderboard – I really like that," Ly reflected. "I think I'll keep playing golf, maybe the rest of my life!"

One of her golf coaches, Lauri Hausafus, joined the group and said, "Kyra is an ambassador for the sport, because she is true competitor with an unmatched work ethic, compared to any other high school junior or senior golfer that I've come across.

"And, Kyra demonstrates that she has the determination, the attitude – and the skill – that gets her noticed," Hausafus added. "If she chooses to continue in golf, as she matures with her game, I think 'the sky is the limit; for Kyra – for sure, in college – and eventually, as a LPGA champion!"

Done with talking, Ly headed back to the driving range, whacking golf balls, straight and true, almost out of sight down the range.

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