Audrey Park: reaching the small screen and striving for more

Hellen Chung, Opinion Editor

Approaching the tee in her first televised tournament, Liberty Sophomore Audrey Park savors the last moments of her K-pop hype playlist. With the Louisiana sun in her eyes, she takes on the Koasati Pines Golf Course in the Peggy Kirk Bell Golf Tour (PKBGT) Notah Begay III Girls Golf National Championship. 

Introduced to the sport by her parents, Park has been golfing since she was seven years old. In two years’ time, she fell in love with the sport and began playing it competitively. 

“I really enjoy figuring out the course I’m playing and applying my creativity to all the different shots I make,” Park said. 

Park showed exemplary skills last season when she played Girls’ Golf for Liberty and received Most Valuable Player (MVP).  Against our close neighbors at Hazen, she shot one under par. She reached Kingco and districts, shooting even at both of them. 

Although she always dreamed of excelling at her sport, she never expected to play with the nation’s best youth players in a tournament streaming on NBC Golf Channel in December. 

“It’s an honor to play in such a large setting with people from around the country,” Park said.

Through her dedication to the sport, Park has reached high ranks that allow her to interact and play with many other young talents. 

“Everyone has their own distinct way of playing, and I like getting to know them as people,” Park said.

While Park was grateful for this opportunity, the tournament itself had some natural obstacles. As the weather finally caught up to the changing seasons of early November, the blazing heat of Louisiana turned into ominous lightning and thunder. 

Players were forced to retire from their remaining holes in the tournament, but Park displayed pleasure in her overall involvement.

“It was a good learning experience, and I’ve gained a lot of insight for tournaments to come,” Park said. 

As Park proceeds with more golfing opportunities, her passion for the sport grows. Specifically, she aims to extend the path of her golf career into college. 

“I would love to play collegiate-level golf. That’s what I’ve been striving and working towards for the past few years,” Park said. “I don’t think I would ever play in the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), but I want to pursue golf in college because I think it’d be a really good experience.”