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East County Wednesday, Sep. 16, 2009 8 years ago

Athlete of the Week: Linda Luo

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

Linda Luo wasn’t quite sure what to expect when she stepped onto the green at Waterlefe Golf and River Club wearing a Lady Mustangs uniform for the first time.

After all, it had only been a matter of minutes since the Lakewood Ranch High junior officially met her coach and the rest of her Lady Mustangs teammates.

“I was kind of nervous,” said Luo, who transferred to Lakewood from Bradenton Prep. “I thought it would be good preparation for local tournaments and you also get to meet people and be a part of the school.”

But rather than letting her nerves get the best of her, Luo focused on her swing and what she would eventually do for her team. On Sept. 8, Luo shot an even par 36 in her first match with her new team, leading Lakewood past Braden River 179-204.

“I thought I could’ve done better because I was kind of nervous because (Kristin Swindell) was hitting on the green, and I was putting for the comeback,” Luo said. “I ended up beating her by one stroke, so it was a good round for me because I changed my swing (recently).”

A native of China, Luo began playing golf when she was 12 years old while living in Canada. She began playing in some local Canadian tournaments, continuing to develop her talents even further.

Looking for more intense competition, Luo moved to Florida last December and began training at IMG Academies before switching over to the Missing Link Academy at Legacy Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch about six months ago.

Now Luo spends at least three hours a day out on the course perfecting her swing and playing the game she loves with the hopes of eventually earning a scholarship.

“The first time I met (my teammates), they weren’t really happy because I cannot practice with them, but I still got to (play),” Luo said. “But I think if I can (continue) to play well, then they will accept me.”

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