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Timpview girls golfers enjoy one more team competition at national invitational

By Jared Lloyd - | Jul 1, 2022
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Timpview golfers pose for a photo before the start of the 2022 NHSGA High School National Invitational at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on Sunday, June 26, 2022.
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Timpview senior Sunbin Seo watches her tee shot during the second round of the 2022 NHSGA High School National Invitational at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
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Timpview senior Rachel Lillywhite lines up her tee shot during the second round of the 2022 NHSGA High School National Invitational at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina, on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

The state girls golf championships wrapped up a month and a half ago, while graduation was came and went at the end of May.

That meant that most senior golfers had been forced to put their high school time in the rear-view mirror.

But not Timpview senior Sunbin Seo.

She got to get the cast back together for an encore as she and four other Thunderbirds competed earlier this week at the 2022 NHSGA High School National Invitational at Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

“I really enjoyed high school, so having this extra tournament where we all got together and go on a trip outside of Utah was really fun for me,” Seo said in a phone interview after the tournament ended. “We didn’t travel as a team, so we do as much but we still got together. It was really nice to see them and compete again after state.”

Seo set the tone for the Utah contingent — which also featured five golfers representing Lone Peak — as she shot a 221 (7-over-par) to tie for 13th overall out of 219 golfers.

Her score along with the efforts of teammates Rachel Lillywhite, Emma Lillywhite, Seneti Toluta’u-‘Ulunga and Lucy Thorstenson resulted in the Thunderbird squad shooting 939 (83-over-par) on the challenging course to come in fifth out of 28 teams.

“I actually had low expectations for our team as a whole,” Seo said. “I knew a lot of good girls and good teams were going to come. But our team really pulled through. We placed fourth on the first day and I was pretty ecstatic because I didn’t think we would be near the Top 5. I thought breaking into the Top 10 would be hard.”

She said seeing her friends play so well and exceed her expectations was something she really enjoyed.

“The feeling of them all celebrating where we were was just really nice,” Seo said. “I just really enjoyed it. That we were able to pull through with that type of score and that placing, I was really happy with it.”

The Timpview senior said she loved playing at the storied Pinehurst Resort and that the course was amazing.

“I love it here,” Seo said. “I went last year and I told my parents I would love to live here. It’s a little humid but it’s so green. It’s so pretty. Plus Pinehurst is like the Mecca of golf. Just being there makes you want to play golf. I come here and I want to practice. I always want to be out on the course. Whatever chance I get I just take it because they treat golfers so well here. I could go out there and practice for hours and hours and I wouldn’t even know time is going by. Everything is just suited for golf, so it is just so fun.”

She said she savored being there with so many girls who felt the same way. She knew some of them from Utah and others from competing in the event in 2021, but the bottom line was that it didn’t matter.

“All the girls are so nice here,” Seo said. “Even if you don’t really know them, I just got to have so much fun with girls that aren’t even on my team. It’s just like a nice vibe out here.”

She sees it as a good stepping stone for her to be around the national golf community as she prepares to head to play college golf at BYU.

“A lot of the girls are the same age I am and we were talking about how hard college will be, whether we are ready or not,” Seo said. “We’re all going through it so it was great to be able to relate to everyone. These bigger events give me a chance to see what college might be like and I just love these tournaments.”

Seo has more summer golf planned before she joins the Cougars but this event was about savoring one more experience, so it’s not surprising her favorite moment was with her Thunderbird teammates.

“At the end it was raining,” Seo said. “I was on the 18th hole and there was a rain delay, so we all had to come in. We got lunch and we were all just sitting there eating. Later we went out to the 18th hole and took pictures. That was just fun because basically that was like the end. That’s the end of this high school team. So that’s one of our last moments. We’re just all there taking pictures and I really enjoyed that.”

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