La Jolla Athlete of the Week: Bishop’s golfer Lucy Yuan stays cool on the course as pressure heats up

Lucy Yuan of The Bishop's School hits her second shot on the 17th hole during the CIF girls golf finals June 3 in Carlsbad.
Lucy Yuan of The Bishop’s School in La Jolla hits her second shot on the 17th hole during the CIF girls golf finals June 3 in Carlsbad.
(Denis Poroy)

The sophomore has her sights set on defending her CIF section championship.


There’s more meaning to the drives that The Bishop’s School sophomore Lucy Yuan brings to golf than just her lengthy tee shots that typically travel 260 yards.

When discussing Lucy’s strengths as a player, Knights coach David Payne first mentions her inner drive that helped her win the last CIF San Diego Section girls individual championship.

“Her composure and professionalism stand out,” Payne said. “Even though Lucy’s amateur age, she carries herself like a professional golfer. Her mindset is always positive and she doesn’t get too high or too low.”

This is a player who has twice ventured to Georgia to appear at Augusta ahead of the famed Masters in the Drive, Chip & Putt competition for youths. Lucy won her debut there in the girls 10-11 age group in 2017.

“Golf has taught me a lot of lessons — staying calm in situations where you’re a little anxious or nervous has definitely transferred to everyday life,” said Lucy, who started tournament play at age 6.

High school girls golf has returned to its traditional fall season after being postponed to spring last school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucy took the opening-round lead in the last section tournament at 3 under par and was the only player to break par at Oceanside Golf Club. She then shot 6 under par in the second round at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad for a four-shot victory over Steele Canyon freshman Anna Davis.

“It was more fun more than anything else to see all the teams out there wearing their colors, and I got to play with my friends,” Lucy said. “Going into that tournament, I just treated it like any other event. I was there to do my best.”

She followed that win with a comeback victory for her first American Junior Golf Association title to open the summer in the Lanto Junior Championship at Blacksburg Country Club in Virginia.

Trailing by three strokes going into the last eight holes, Lucy rallied with three birdies to win by two shots with a closing 4-under-par 68 in the third round.

“I’ve learned that it’s never too late to turn a round around and make a comeback,” she said. “In the beginning of that round, I was losing strokes, but I reminded myself to stay calm and collected.”

Lucy first took up golf after accompanying her father, Xian, to the course in her native Vancouver, British Columbia. The youngest of three siblings, she was the only one to pursue the game regularly.

When her family decided to leave for the United States, golf was one factor in moving to Carmel Valley seven years ago. Lucy practices at the nearby Grand Golf Club.

As a youngster, she tuned in to the Masters on television. That only added to the anticipation when she competed in the Drive, Chip & Putt contest after advancing from regional qualifying.

“When I stepped on the grounds at Augusta, it was definitely a game-changer for golf for me,” Lucy said. “I would describe it as a Disneyland for golfers.”

In her return visit in April this year, she placed second overall in the 12-13 age bracket while winning the driving portion.

Now it’s back to high school golf on a youthful team also spearheaded by sophomore Sophia Guan and junior Grace Sun from last season’s squad. Lucy will be seeking a repeat title in the section tournament in early November.

“Golf drives me,” Lucy said. “One big reason is making lifelong friends along the way. Another reason I love is winning tournaments. It’s very rewarding to take home a trophy after all that hard work and dedication.”

La Jolla Athlete of the Week features athletes from all sports in high school (La Jolla High, The Bishop’s School, La Jolla Country Day School) and other local youth sports. We’re looking not only for the stars of competition but also for student-athletes who set an example for teamwork, academic achievement and/or community involvement. Please email your nominations, and a way to reach your nominees, to Editor Rob Vardon at