Thursday, August 21, 2008
Stanford University’s women’s golf head coach first contacted Sydney Burlison when she was 11 years old.
Seven years later, the recent Robert Louis Stevenson High School graduate readies to embark on a full golf scholarship at the university.
The 18-year-old Salinas native sips on an iced coffee in the morning sunlight outside the Del Rey Oaks Starbucks. She’s dressed from head-to-toe in a China-USA Youth Team Golf Championship uniform– Burlison was one of eight junior golfers chosen to compete in the first ever competition in Langfang City, China, just before the Olympics.
Burlison is a typical teenager with a love for ’80s music and Harry Potter books. But as a golfer, she has intensity and wisdom beyond her teenage years.
After immersing herself into the sport at the age of 10, Burlison began golfing daily.
“I don’t need anything but golf to have fun,” she says adamantly. “As soon as I started entering tournaments and winning them, I got hooked even more.”
Upon finishing seventh grade at All Saints Day School in Carmel Valley, Burlison had already found her swing. She became the third youngest to qualify for the Women’s U.S. Open at the age of 13 and the youngest of 156 to compete in the 2003 U.S. Open.
Burlison has never stopped adding to her lustrous resume: she has won four American Junior Golf Association All-American titles, been selected twice to compete on the U.S. Junior Solheim Cup Team and three times to compete on the Canon Cup Team. Most recently, she finished first in the Central Cost Section for RLS with a medalist score of 68.
Along with the chaos of starting college, the rest of Burlison’s summer gives her no time to breathe. She will compete in the First Tee Open at Pebble Beach from Aug. 12-18 and soon after will travel to Scotland to compete with Stanford on Sept. 7.
“[This] summer has turned out to be the busiest ever, but I love it,” Burlison says.