All-Bee Teams

2010 Girls Golf All-Star Team

Grade: Senior

She's qualified because: Four-time Bee All-Star became only the third girls golfer in Central Section history to win consecutive individual titles when she birdied five her of last nine holes, including Nos. 17 and 18, to fire a 3-under 70 and beat Clovis North's Alanna Loyd by one stroke at Sunnyside Country Club.

The beginning seemed aimless, almost without a plan.

Then again, Madchen Ly was only 8 when her father, Pheng, drove her out to Hank's Swank, a southeast Clovis par-3 golf course and driving range.

"He tells me, 'This is how you grip it,' and I just started swinging," she says. "It was just something like, 'Hey, here's a golf club, go out and try.' And that's where it all started happening."

Turns out, Ly would grip it and rip it, win Len Ross Junior 11-under tournaments in her first two attempts and then develop into one of the most accomplished high school golfers that the Central Section has known at Clovis High.

This season, the senior won her second straight section individual title, a feat previously achieved only by Monache's Kristen Allard and Centennial's Allison Martin in the history of the tournament.

And the second championship captured this season at Sunnyside Country Club was nailed in vintage Ly fashion as she birdied five of her last nine holes, including Nos. 17 and 18, to overcome Clovis North's Alanna Loyd by one stroke with a 3-under 70.

Late surges to the wire by Ly, The Fresno Bee's Girls Golf Player of the Year, have long been established.

As a freshman in the section North Area Tournament, for example, it was her eagle chip that beat Clovis West's Asia Adell in a playoff.

In April, at the Len Ross Fresno City Junior Amateur, her final round 5-under 67 overcame a five-stroke deficit to Adell for the championship.

And then to the section individual tournament in early December, when Ly double bogeyed the first hole, didn't flinch and came flying from behind with a game set up normally by powerful yet accurate shots off the tee – and at 5 feet tall, no less.

"She's one of the longer players in the Valley, and that puts her at an advantage over the competition in long or short courses," Clovis coach Scott Davidson says. "But, even more than that, she has the competitive experience and when the pressure's on she can make birdies.

"A lot of players struggle during the end of a round. But a lot of times you see Madchen go off and birdie the last couple of holes. She just has the ability to turn it up to the next level in the end and make those numbers."

Paying attention all along has been Fresno State coach Angie Cates-Moore. And her determined courtship resulted in Ly signing a letter of intent with the Bulldogs in November.

"I've kept an eye on her," Cates-Moore says. "She's got a great demeanor on the golf course. She's very competitive, but keeps an even keel.

"She usually recovers after a bad hole, and has pretty good course management, which you don't seen too often for someone coming out of high school. She has a good head and is golf smart, definitely."

And who would have known, nearly 10 years ago, when Pheng Ly placed a club in his tiny daughter's hands and told her to let it fly?

"I just remember smacking those balls around at Hank's," Madchen says. "And when I was about 10 I was like, 'Oh yeah, I really like this game.' I think it was natural."

Next stop: Fresno State.

"Kind of a dream to play college golf," she says. "And I'm glad I'm staying home. What a blessing."