DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University women’s golf head coach Dan Brooks announced on Thursday the signing of Sandy Choi of San Diego, Calif., Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., and Yu Liu of Beijing, China., to national letters of intent to attend Duke in the fall of 2013. All three rank in the top 20 of the latest Golfweek Junior rankings, highlighted by Lee at No. 3.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” commented Brooks on the class. “They’re all fantastic people. I can tell that they’re going to be great team members. They’re well-rounded people with great senses of humor and work ethic[s]. On top of that they’re very talented. I couldn’t be more excited.”
With the addition of the trio for the fall of 2013, the Blue Devils will feature a roster of eight for the 2013-14 campaign that will include returning letterwinners Laetitia Beck, Alejandra Cangrejo, Irene Jung, Celine Boutier and Yi Xiao. Brooks’ roster will feature student-athletes from all over the World including Israel, Colombia, France, Canada, two from China and two from California.
Below is a listing of each signee:
5-7 - San Diego, Calif. (Torrey Pines H.S.)
Listed No. 20 in the latest Golfweek Junior rankings … 2011 Rolex Junior Honorable Mention All-America … two-time winner on the AJGA Tour … won the 2010 Sean O’Hair Junior All-Star Championship and the 2010 Montverde Academy Junior All-Star Invitational … participated in the 2012 AJGA Wyndham Cup Invitational and represented the Western region … finished in the top 10 of all 10 AJGA Tournaments she competed in during 2012 … the 2011 San Diego Section Player of the Year … a three-time First Team All-League selection … guided her Torrey Pines team to the 2012 SIF San Diego Sectional title and won the individual title as well … team champions at the CIF Southern California Regional for the first time … led her Torrey Pines H.S. team to the CIF State Championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012 … individual champion at the 2011 CIF Southern California Regionals and San Diego Sectionals … led her team to a runner-up finish at the 2009, 2010 and 2011 CIF South California Regionals … qualified for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur … in 2011 on the AJGA tour, totaled five top 20 finishes including second place finishes at the Stockton Convention and Visitors Bureau Junior Open and the AJGA Girls Championship … individual runner up at the 2010 CIF San Diego Sectionals … led her Torrey Pines squad to the 2009 CIF San Diego Sectional Team Championship and a runner-up finish at the 2009 CIF State Championship.
Full name is Hee Wook (Sandy) Choi … born May 4, 1995 in Seoul, South Korea … daughter of Kyung Jim Choi and Jung Hwa Kim … has one brother, Woo Young (Tony) Choi (16) and one sister, Hee Soo (Anny) Choi (20) … started playing golf at age seven.
Brooks on Choi:
“Sandy is a very, very consistent player. I don’t believe I’ve seen her hit it out of the fairway. She just does all of the basics really, really well. She’s not a flashy player and most great golf is not flashy. That’s the kind of player she is. I think she will bring a very important element to our team.”
Listed No. 10 in the Polo Junior Golf rankings, fourth in the Golfweek Junior rankings and third on the Junior Golf Scoreboard … First Team Rolex Junior All-America in 2012, while being named a second team selection in 2010 and honorable mention in 2011 … Orange County Player of the Year as a senior and The Press Telegram Player of the Year as a junior … a four-time Orange County All-County team … played on the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup team … competed in the 2011 Junior Solheim Cup for the U.S., in Trim, Ireland … notched a 1-1-1 record and helped her team to the overall victory at the Solheim Cup … registered three career AJGA victories at the 2011 AJGA Junior Challenge, 2010 Emerson Junior Golf Classic and the 2010 Trader Joe’s Junior Championship hosted by Pat Hurst … in 2012, notched seven top 10 finishes in seven events on the AJGA tour … tied first in medalist action at the 2012 Polo Golf Junior Classic with rounds of 69, 73 … tallied six top 10 finishes and one victory in 2011, while posting five top 10 placements and one win in 2010 … competed in the 2011 Wyndham Cup as a member of the West team … totaled 26 wins over her four-year high school golf career … her high school team placed second at the state championship as a sophomore.
Full name is Esther JH Lee … born Oct. 18, 1994 in Pueblo, Colo. ... daughter of Seung Soo and Eun Ha Lee … has one brother, John (19), who is a student at West Point in N.Y. … member of the Principal’s Honor Roll each of her first three years at high school … involved in the Red Cross Club, Helping Kids be Kids Club and the Wounded Veterans … member of the high school choir.
Brooks on Lee:
“Esther is sneaky long. She’s not a really big person, but she hits it a long way. She’s very accurate with her yardages. I think that would be the strongest aspect of her game. Just a really nice demeanor, really calm on the golf course and that goes a long way in golf too.”
5-9 - Beijing, China
Ranking: No. 13 (Golfweek Junior), No. 19 (Junior Golf Scoreboard), No. 32 (Polo Junior Golf)
A three-time winner on the AJGA circuit … a 2011 Second Team Rolex Junior All-America … currently ranked No. 13 in the Golfweek Junior Golf rankings … finished first at the 2012 Chongqing Challenge, after firing rounds of 72, 68 and 71 … runner-up at the 2012 CLPGA Srixon Ladies Open and the CLPGA China Unicom Pro-Am … tied for second at the 2012 CLPGA Wuhan Challenge … won the 2011 Under Armour/Vicky Hurst Championship with rounds of 70, 67 for a total of 137 … placed first at the 2010 Tee Up Junior Challenge posting rounds of 72, 66 and 73 for a 211 total … fired rounds of 72, 75 and 77 for a total of 224, won the Killington Junior Golf Championship in 2010 … in 2012, totaled three top 10 finishes and five top 25 placements … top finish in 2012 was the Rolex Tournament of Champions (71-69-70-70=280) … had one win, four top 10 and nine top 20 finishes in nine tournaments in 2011 … tied for second at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship (69-67-65-74=275) … reached the semifinals of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship … in five tournaments during the 2010 season, she had two wins and two other top 14 finishes … placed third at the AJGA Apawamis Junior … a three-time winner of the HSBC China Junior Golf Championship in 2008 (Girls 11-12), 2009 (Girls 13-14) and 2010 (Girls 15-17) … won the 2009 (69-68-74) and 2010 (74-76-67) CITIC Bank China Amateur Tour final … tied for 22nd and won the Best Amateur title at the China LPGA Tour – Korea LPGA Tour co-sponsored event …
Full name is Yu Liu … born November 15, 1995 in Beijing, China … daughter of Song Liu and Jingnu Cao … started playing golf at age eight.
Brooks on Liu:
“Yu is physically very strong. She hits it a long way, she has the whole package. She’s done some tremendous things at the professional level actually. This summer she won a pro tournament. She’s played at a high level and she’s done a lot of traveling. She’s a mature kid and just has a great perspective and great sense of humor. I’m really looking forward to her contribution.”
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