Emma Sand tees off to start the Oak Ridge match against the Nevada Union Miners at the Serrano Country Club. Village Life photo by Mark Studyvin


Trojan golfer playing with a pro

By From page A11 | October 18, 2017

Emma Sand recently played in a golf tournament paired with Tom Watson, and he admired her game. Not the other way around.

Webster has a new definition for irony.

It was at The First Tee held Sept. 19-24 at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course, where Sand played with the Kansas City native golf legend.

“It was the best week of my life,” said Sand. “Yeah, I got to play at Pebble Beach with Tom Watson. Out of the 82 other high schools there, I was the one person that got paired with him. He actually didn’t have any tips for me. He was really impressed with me, genuinely.”

The Oak Ridge women’s No. 1 golf player is wrapping up her senior year, leading her team into the post-season with hopes to advance to the playoffs.

In their final regular season match of the season Oct. 12, the Trojans defeated Nevada Union, 208-299, on the par 36 course at Serrano Country Club. Sand led the team with a round of 39. Meha Sodhi scored 41, Olivia Loeffur and Sara Johnson hit 42, Lauren Keane and freshman Ellie Sand finished with 44.

“We’re a really strong team,” said Emma Sand. “So, I think we just all had to go out there and focus on our games.”

The Trojans have only lost two matches this season, both to Granite Bay who are first in their conference right now and won the Sierra Foothill League.

“We have been close on their heels,” said Trojan head coach Lauren Swan. “They are an amazing team. And that has just been our goal … to get to that next level.”

It was also Senior Day for the team, providing the players the opportunity to mix things up a bit.

Players’ fathers served as caddies on the final hole, and Emma played in the final group paired with Ellie, her sister and Trojan No. 5 player.

“The fact that we have six seniors and this is their last match was the key to this win,” said Swan. “They just wanted to go out there and have fun and enjoy it for the last time and it ended up working for them.”

The Trojans played their SFL No. 2 tournament Monday, and then moved to the sections at Rancho Murieta followed by the Masters at the Reserve. The teams hopes to qualify for the Nor Cals and State.

“Emma has been great this year,” said Swan. “Her and Caleigh (Clark) have been co-captains and have really been leaders on this team, not just score wise but making sure everyone’s where they need to be and inspiring them. She has had some great opportunities this year. And I’m excited to see where she goes to college.”

Emma hasn’t decided on a school just yet. For now she’s busy helping guide this team and pass her knowledge to younger members.

“I like playing with my sister,” said Ellie. “I look up to her so much. She is my role model and I want to be just like her.”

No sibling rivalry here — just emulation and fond admiration. Ellie readily admits she struggled in their final regular-season match of the season, but finished strong as she birdied the last two holes. For two holes of golf Ellie was able to get the best of her older sister.

The sibling teammates have been playing together for years with Emma starting at age 9 and Ellie at 7.

But many of the girls on the junior varsity team come in green according to coach Swan, and they are just getting to know the game. So they look up to the seniors and see how far these girls have come in four years, thinking this is obtainable and can get to that same point.

Sara Johnson is another player who has served as a strong example to the younger players on the JV squad as to how to play the game.

“She is probably the farthest hitter on the team,” said Swan. “And her driver is just lights out every time. It’s been a goal of hers to reach the eighth green (510 yards, par 5) in two shots. That’s what I love about Sara; she’s not afraid to back down from a challenge. She goes for it.”

“Go big or go home,” Swan added.

Mark Studyvin


  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Follow Us On Facebook

  • Special Publications »

    Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service (updated 4/30/2015) and Privacy Policy (updated 4/7/2015).
    Copyright (c) 2017 McNaughton Newspapers, Inc., a family-owned local media company that proudly publishes the Daily Republic, Mountain Democrat, Davis Enterprise, Village Life, Winters Express, Georgetown Gazette, EDC Adventures, and other community-driven publications.