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Best in class: Jessica Vasilic

Standing 6-foot-3, Anaheim Hills resident hopes to one day loom as large as fellow Swede Annika Sorenstam.

BY ELI MILLERPublished: June, 2011

Vasilic's average driving distance is 270 yards (COURTESY: AJGA).
Age: 15.

Residence: Anaheim Hills.

Notable Accomplishments: Set female course record of 67 at The Golf Club at La Quinta en route to winning 2008 Southern California PGA Toyota Tour Cup Championship; reached match-play semifinals of 2010 AJGA Polo Junior Golf Classic; helped Canyon High School reach CIF-State Championship this season.

Average Driving Distance: 270 yards.

Holes In One: 2.

Favorite Shot to Hit: “I really like to test out flop shots, like the trick shots Phil Mickelson does. One I like to practice is when the ball is on a really steep bank and basically you hit the ball over your head, so it goes backwards. I can pull it off with regularity for fun, but it's not something I'd use during a tournament. I also like to hit a standard 7-iron shot from 150 yards.”

Food on Course: A banana, “for energy.”

Favorite Music: “My friends make fun of me, but I am into heavy-duty country music. I'm a big fan of Josh Turner. I also enjoy Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Carrie Underwood. I don't listen to music before a tournament, but when I practice, it’s country, too.”

Favorite TV Show: Law and Order.

Favorite Celebrity: Paul Walker.

Hobbies: “I’m a really athletic person and like to play volleyball and basketball. Most of my friends are on those teams, so I kind of just play with them whenever I have time.”

Why to Watch: Standing 6-foot-3 and consistently producing one of the longest tee balls among her peers, Vasilic epitomizes the modern wave of athletic, power players. Yet her game is firmly grounded in tradition. “It’s a family thing,” said Vasilic, whose grandfather first took her to the range in native Sweden at age 2. “My grandparents played golf, so did my parents and so did my cousins. I realized at an early age that’s a passion of mine.” Inspired by fellow Swede Annika Sorenstam, Vasilic was privileged to meet her idol at the AJGA Annika Invitational earlier this year. “It was kind of like a dream — you've been talking about her your whole life and then you're having a normal conversation with her. We both talked in Swedish, just about my round and how I was having some trouble with putting that day. She told me to never give up, every day is different.”

Quotable: Said Vasilic, “I definitely am trying to focus on going to college before I turn pro. Right now, I'm trying to take one tournament at a time and get my ranking higher, which hopefully will open new doors for me. For college, I want to go somewhere with good weather so I can practice year-round. I definitely would not mind staying in Southern California, but I'm open to pretty much anywhere.”


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