Dublin Villager

Third-grader's golf swing wins international honors

By ThisWeek Community News  • 
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JENNIFER NOBLIT/THISWEEKNEWS
Deer Run Elementary School third-grader Sophia DiPaolo won first place for her golf swing in an international competition for children ages 7 and 8.
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Sophia DiPaolo has stuck with her New Year's resolution so far and it's already paying off.

The Deer Run Elementary School third grader made a pact with her older sister Olivia to practice golf every day in 2014 and through the goal Sophia has earned the title of Best Pee Wee Golf Swing in an international competition run by Little Linksters Association for Junior Golf Development.

The 8-year-old has done a few golf tournaments, taking first and second place, but got serious with the sport last year.

"My dad's been teaching me and I wanted to learn more," she said.

Nick DiPaolo coaches his three daughters in golf and got Sophia involved in the Little Linksters contest after finding out about it through the Golf Channel network.

"There was one week left to enter," Sophia said. "We made a video and I did four different golf swings."

Sophia competed against 7- and 8-year-olds from 14 countries and was judged by golfing champions such as Gary Player and Brittany Lincicome.

"I was surprised," Sophia said of the win, adding she was brushing her teeth before bed one night when her father received an email about her triumph.

The win earned Sophia an exemption and entry fee into a Future Champions Golf competition in San Diego in July.

"It's a big tournament," Nick said.

Sophia is excited about playing in the tournament this summer, but some of her other prizes that include a set of clubs, swing trainer and online lessons have also caught her interest.

"The first prize was a Let's Play Golf book," Sophia said.

"I liked that. The shirts are fun too. I like all of them."

"I think she's most excited about the coloring book," said her mother Lora.

Sophia does have interests outside of golf.

"Besides golf I like to read and write, color and play and run," she said.

Piano takes up some of Sophia's time and the third-grader loves animals.

But golf is likely something Sophia will stick with.

"I'll probably stick with golf so I can be on the LPGA (tour) when I'm older," she said, adding that she hopes her sister, Olivia, is with her.

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