Jay Lim doesn't try to outdrive his competition. He's more concerned about hitting the ball straight and low, and about landing on as many fairways as possible.
His old-school approach has been paying off this season, and it again paid dividends Monday in the CIF Individual Final at the Industry Hills Golf Club's Babe Zaharias course.
Lim, the last La Cañada High golfer left in CIF individual competition, tied for fifth place in the tournament and advanced with the top 28 finishers to the Southern California Golf Assn. Regional Qualifier Tuesday at Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena.
In the final, Lim carded a one-over-par 72, two strokes off the lead. Kethan Reddy of Villa Park and Glen Lee of Valencia tied for medalist honors with 70s.
"He played a beautiful round of golf," La Cañada Coach Richard Tetu said. "He only missed one fairway."
So far in CIF individual play, which has included two events, Lim said his entire game hasn't come together all at once. Last week, he struggled driving the ball. This week, it was his putting.
"After four or five holes, I was going for a medal, but my putting just didn't work with me today," said Lim, who three-putted three times on the back nine. "Today didn't really matter if I medaled. Hopefully next week I'll go for the medal."
The Babe Zaharias course was one Lim was familiar with, and one that played to his strengths.
"The fairways are really narrow at Industry, so it helped that my driver was right down the middle every time," Lim said.
Lim hadn't played the course in years. However, he grew up playing there, and as time went on, the lay of the course started coming back to him, which ended up calming his nerves.
"I felt extremely relaxed today over last week," Lim said. "I expected to be more nervous, but I started off really well, had a few birdies in the beginning and got on a roll."
Tetu said Lim always comes off "cool, calm and collected. I'm sure he's turning inside, but between junior golf and high school, he's played a lot of competitive golf over the years."
Lim will be even more familiar with Brookside, a course he's played several times this season. The only difference is that Brookside won't play in his favor.
"[Brookside] is a course he's very familiar with," Tetu said. "It's a longer, wider course and he doesn't hit the ball as long, so he will have to bring his game."
That's something Lim has already been preparing for.
"Brookside is probably suited more for the long-ball hitter," Lim said. "I am going to work on my putting this week and if I hit the ball like I did [Monday] I think I'll have a good shot at it."