Viera High’s Liu had big impact on golf program


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Viera High’s Sophie Liu finished second at the Class 3A state golf tournament last month. It’s the highest individual finish for a Viera High girls golfer. Photo by Carl Kotala

In two years at Viera High School, Sophie Liu has been part of a state championship girls golf team and the highest individual finisher in the program’s history.

Talk about having an impact.

“Probably the best player that’s gone through our program,” Hawks coach Greg Ford said.

On the first day of this year’s Class 3A state championship tournament at the Mission Inn & Resort in Howie-in-the-Hills, Liu was just one of two players — boy or girl — to break par. Her 4-under 68 was good enough to share the lead going into the second day.

Liu shot par 72 in her next round and finished tied with Seminole High’s Alyssa Lamoureux. That led to a playoff that lasted three holes before Lamoureux emerged as the winner.

A year after helping the Hawks win their second state title, Liu gave Viera another big finish. 

“I’m very proud of being second place,” Liu said “I’m very proud of being here. I’m proud of the team making it to states, and I’m proud of Coach (Ford) supporting us. I’m proud of everyone here that was able to get out and support the team.”

Viera’s girls finished third, proving once again the Hawks have one of the top programs in the state.

It was the final high school tournament for Liu and fellow seniors Taylor Rajeski and Katie Arnott. Junior Samantha Brimhall and sophomores Dayna Owens and Trinity Falzone will be back next year to pursue title No. 3.

Liu’s next stop will be the University of Iowa after falling in love with the place during her official visit.

“It just fit,” she said “I loved the people there, and I think that’s more important than where the location is.”

As for her two years at Viera, Liu had nothing but good things to say.

“I think that it has been a wonderful experience, and I truly feel the program that Coach Ford is running is unbelievable,” she said. “It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before and he deserves all the credit.”

The Hawks know Liu will be tough to replace.

“She’s going to be sorely missed because of her personality and the way she carries herself, her work ethic and all those things,” Ford said.

“She’s just a fantastic person, and it shows in her game. She’s going to have a great college career at Iowa. I’m looking forward to seeing that.”