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Good Sports: Valley Hmong American golfer hoping to break barriers

FRESH, California (KFSN) – When it comes to golf, Vunnisa Vu is natural.

The 17-year-old found success for the first time on the tennis court as a junior player with a national ranking.

“I think my parents thought it was a better opportunity for me because in tennis I was petite and short, so I think that was a disadvantage for me,” he said.

Born and raised in Minnesota, Wu’s family decided to return to her father’s birthplace, Fresno.

“In Minnesota, there is not much playing time, especially in golf,” he said. “Well, I think coming to California, there’s golf all year, so a lot more practice time.”

A move that helped pave the way for consecutive wins at the valley’s top teen golf tournament – the Len Ross Memorial.

“I feel really grateful,” said her father, Pheng Vu. “I am very happy for its success and for our team that we are evolving a lot and we have come a long way.”

When he does not train her at home, Feng also becomes her coach.

“It’s not easy – it’s very difficult to change from father to child coach,” he said.

For Vu, the sky is the limit.

“Our goal is to aim as high as possible,” Pheng said.

This month, Vunnisa received an offer to play in Fresno State and while it intends to stay in the Valley, its goals are even bigger.

“I think my long-term goal is to play on tour,” he said.

Along the way, this proud Hmong-American hopes to break some barriers.

“I hope to inspire other girls and girls of color to play this sport,” she said. “Someone who comes to mind is like Megan Kang and Sunny Lee. They inspire me to reach the top.”

A driving motivation that could make her the second Hmong player ever on tour.

“I hope I can reciprocate the community as they have supported me,” he said.

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