Vivongsy eyes return to states and conference low scorer honors when she hits the links in 2019


Emma Lewis , Staff Reporter

Sophomore Catherine Vivongsy worked during the fall to earn her spot as the top player on the golf team, with the second-lowest stroke average in the conference.

Vivongsy has had an interest in golf from a young age, ever since her parents sought an outlet for their energized 9-year-old.

“As a child I was pretty restless, and my parents didn’t know where to put me, so they placed me in a golf camp. That’s where I started to enjoy and learn golf,” Vivongsy said.

The young athlete has progressively improved throughout the years, leading her to this season’s achievements.

“My goal was just to go to regionals and states, which I did. Going to states was the teams’ first time since 2015, so I think that was not only a big accomplishment for me, but also for the Wake Forest High School girls’ golf team overall,” Vivongsy said.

While her results this past season don’t reflect it, Vivongsy experienced a setback right before her freshman year that caused a decrease in playing time.

“The summer before I got the injury I was disrupting a joint or ligament in my wrist. The doctor said if I continued putting that stress on it that it would possibly fracture, so I had to keep it in a cast in order to let it heal for a little bit,” Vivongsy said. “With that, I couldn’t golf for about a few months, which destroyed my game a lot because without that much practice you completely forget your whole swing. So I swing. So I had to regain a lot from that.”

The obstacle didn’t stop Vivongsy from having a positive outlook on her season.

“Some accomplishments and goals I made this year was that I made a personal score under 40 more than once. I also became second overall in conference with one stroke average behind the leader,” Vivongsy said.

Vivongsy cited coach Jeremiah Mattingly’s influence on her 2018 season.

“He has been very supportive and helpful. His advice and positivity throughout the season has really motivated me to do my best.”

Vivongsy’s teammates had a very similar influence on her, creating an even better playing environment.

“They were just like the coach. They were very supportive, very encouraging towards me, especially since I was really new to the high school golf team,” Vivongsy said.

In thinking about next season, Vivongsy knows exactly where the areas of improvement will be.

“My states scores and regionals scores weren’t my best, so hopefully I can work toward a better score for regionals and states next season. I know what my weaknesses are in golf, and all I really need to work on now is smoothing that out,” Vivongsy said.

Vivongsy sees herself continuing golf for the remainder of her high school years, and aims to earn a scholarship in the future.

“Right now, I am focusing more on getting a scholarship to go to college. If I do get a scholarship, I am planning on playing golf in college, maybe at a division two college,” Vivongsy said. “A division two college I would like to go to is maybe Barton, but I’m also really interested in UNC Charlotte. My brother goes there and they have a really good architect program, and I’m really interested in majoring in architecture.”

The feelings evoked when Vivongsy plays golf are what drives her to continue succeeding in the sport.

Vivongsy said, “What motivates me is just knowing how much joy and excitement golf brings me. I want to keep doing that when I golf because I know not only do I love it, but I know that in my future it will help me a lot.”