La Cañada High senior golfer Jay Lim struggled at the start the Southern California Golf Assn. Regional Qualifier at Brookside Golf Club's Course No. 1 in Pasadena. It wasn't until he let go on the back nine that he started dominating the course, the way he has all season.
"I started off really poorly, my irons were a lot shorter than usual," Lim said. "Toward the back nine, I started not caring as much and starting firing at pins and being more aggressive. I stopped being so conservative and my shot came back and I started making putts."
Not enough putts fell for Lim, as he carded a 71, finishing one under par and ending Tuesday's competition tied for 15 out of 123 golfers. It was an impressive finish, but it just wasn't enough to move on, as only the top-six golfers qualified for the CIF State Championships. The cut 70.
"He played great," Spartans Coach Richard Tetu said. "He finished really strong and birdied the last hole, the toughest one of the course, and he barely missed the cut by one stroke."
Even though Lim came on strong with his irons and putter to finish the day, a lot of putts just kept lipping out, Lim said.
"I'm content with how I played, but there were other things I could have done," Lim said. "I had a three-putt from like 12 feet and had a lot of missed iron shots ... I finished strong so I guess that's a plus."
Lim was the only Spartan golfer to advance past the first round of the CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament. He carded a 74 for a fourth-place tie in the first round at Las Posas Country Club course in Camarillo and had a 72 in the second round for a fifth-place tie at the Industry Hills Golf Club's Babe Zaharias course.
For the second consecutive year, a La Cañada golfer has just missed the cut for the State Championships. Last year, it was Anton Arboleda, who currently plays for UCLA, just missing the cut with a 69 and a tie for 17th place at the 2010 regional qualifier.
Nerves weren't an issue for Lim on Tuesday, as he worked his way through Brookside, a course that's a lot like his "home course." He just didn't have all the parts of his game working together at the same time, he said.
Lim's golf career is far from over, though. The La Cañada senior is headed to play golf for the University of San Diego next season and he hopes golf will take him even further than that.
"I am trying to get on tour with the PGA," he said.