When it came time to choose the Mercury News girls golfer of the year, there really was only one choice.
Palo Alto's Michelle Xie won the Central Coast Section individual title while leading Palo Alto to the team championship. The junior followed that by winning the Northern California individual championship. Xie did not do as well at the state finals. But her tie for eighth place was the best among local participants.
For her achievements, Xie is the Mercury News girls golfer of the year.
"She had a great year," Palo Alto coach Doyle Knight said. "I knew she had the ability to win CCS and NorCals. I actually thought she could have won state, too. She just had a bad day. I am happy for her."
Xie's triumph at the NorCal championships in Ripon was a day to remember. Her chances of winning the title were quickly slipping from her grip as she had bogeys on her first three holes.
Xie responded with a hole-in-one on the 144-yard fifth hole and went on to win the title.
"It really helped me with my confidence," said Xie, who had never shot a hole in one. "I was starting to think I was going to bogey every single hole and shoot a 90."
Instead, she shot an even-par 73 to add more hardware to her trophy case.
Mercury News Team
Kelly Fang, Aragon
Jessica Luo, Lynbrook
Michelle Xie, Palo Alto
Nancy Xu, St. Francis
Anna Zhou, Gunn