San Ramon Valley High School senior Ty Akabane will be capping off her accomplished high school golfing career next week when she heads to Charleston, S.C., to compete as an amateur in the 74th U.S. Women’s Open -- her second appearance in three years.
She is so excited at the opportunity to compete with some of the best golfers in the world that she will be missing her high school graduation, which is scheduled to coincide with the Open.
Akabane, who is the 15th ranked junior golfer in the country according to both the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Rolex Rankings and the Golfweek National Junior rankings, will be joining dozens of golfers from around the world at the Country Club of Charleston on May 30.
“After playing in my first U.S. Women's Open a couple of years ago I feel like I know what to expect heading into the Open this year. The first year I was really taking in everything around me and was enjoying every moment,” she told DanvilleSanRamon.com. “The U.S. Women's Open is such an amazing event; to have the opportunity to compete against the best is truly special. However, this year I feel like I am more focused heading into the Open. I'm really excited to compete and play out there.”
In 2017, Akabane competed in her first U.S. Open as a sophomore at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., where she missed the final cut to receive a ranking but shot combined score of 159 over the first two rounds.
This year she qualified for the Open after putting up impressive numbers during the regional qualifiers at the Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill.
During the 36-hole qualifier, Akabane shot rounds of 71 (1 under par) and 71 (1 under par) in a very competitive field of Ladies Professional Golf Association professionals and college players from Stanford, the University of Southern California and the University of San Francisco to name a few.
A lifelong golfer, Akabane first hit the links when she was 6 years old and never looked back from there.
“At my old house, we had this big hill across the street. And I had these plastic Snoopy clubs that I would use to hit balls across the street. And every week I would measure how far I would hit up on the hill,” she laughed. “I started playing junior tournaments when I was about 7 and, after competing, I developed a passion for it.”
This year Akabane has really raised the bar for junior golfers. Less than five months into 2019, and in addition to qualifying for the U.S. Women’s open, she has won the AJGA Yolo Fliers and the AJGA Heather Farr golf tournaments. Last August she put another feather in her cap by winning the 2018 California Women’s Amateur Championship at Quail Lodge Golf Club among a field of college and amateur players.
Akabane will be continuing her golf career into college after committing to play at the University of California Los Angeles in the fall. She is still undecided on what she will be studying, but has said that biology, psychology and business are top contenders at the moment.