During the recent cold spell, Acalanes High senior Elizabeth Schultz stuck with her routine: She went out to Boundary Oak Golf Course in Walnut Creek and hit shot after shot on the range.

"I was in the car with the heater on, and she was out hitting balls," Dan Stanich, her private coach, said. "It was 27 degrees."

Schultz also brought the heat during the high school golf season.

She outperformed the East Bay competition in the biggest tournaments, including tying for second at the state tournament, finishing second at the NorCal tournament and tying for top individual qualifier at the North Coast Section Division I Tournament of Champions.

Thus, Schultz was the clear choice as Bay Area News Group East Bay Player of the Year in girls golf.

Schultz, who is headed to San Jose State, shot a 3-under 33 in a DFAL dual match at Franklin Canyon Golf Course in Hercules. She was second in the Post-Season Preview Classic with a 3-under 69 at Poppy Ridge Golf Course.

Her power off the tee, deft putting and mental toughness all factored into a memorable season, the best in school history.

Schultz, who practices about 28 hours a week, set the tone for the fall with a surprise qualification for the June 27-30 U.S. Women's Open in Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

Competing alongside the world's best players made a lasting impact on the former year-round swimmer.


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"It definitely made me stronger and really pointed out what my weaknesses were," Schultz said. "So I worked really hard after I got back. I was pretty well-rounded heading into the season. Just dealing with the pressure in New York really prepared me for high school golf."

Schultz overcame a tough course and cold, windy conditions at the NorCal tournament at Spring Creek Golf Club in Ripon, when she shot a 1-over 74, to finish one stroke back. Then at the state tournament at Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel Valley, she finished in a five-player logjam at even-par 71, making her the top Northern California finisher. She made a memorable 75-foot birdie putt during the round.

Stanich marveled at Schultz's ability to right herself after she bogeyed the first hole.

"I'm extremely proud of her how she handled herself, very professional, very calm, very relaxed," he said.

Schultz said she's working on her game, including working the ball both ways, her trajectory and her short game.

Two days before the NCS tourney at Peacock Gap in San Rafael, Schultz got a boost by tying for first in the Junior Golf Association of Northern California Tournament of Champions at Silverado in Napa.

She then shot a 70 at NCS to finish two shots behind medalists Kimberly Liu of Amador Valley and Belinda Hu of Dougherty Valley.