Rookie ready to shine
China's Muni He is a young golf star on the rise.
Since making the cut of the 2015 US Open as an amateur aged 16, He has made continual progress toward her goal of earning an LPGA card.
Last season she played as a rookie on the Symetra Tour making 16 of 21 cuts which included two top-ten finishes and a victory at the Prasco Championship in June.
In October, He was thrilled to earn Priority List Category 14 status for the 2019 LPGA Season after a T27 at the LPGA Q-Series.
"Obviously LPGA has been the ultimate goal of mine and I’m so excited," The 19-year-old said.
"I think overall I’m pretty satisfied with 2018.
"I had a lot of ups and downs and have learned the most about golf and how to play as a professional golfer. Obviously it’s my first year as a pro on tour, so I definitely learned a lot from good to bad. The bad taught me the most and the good was to really give me confidence and showed myself that I’m able to do this.
While He experienced life as a professional on the Symetra Tour she still admits there will be some pressure in her first season at the elite level but is hoping to put forward some strong performances throughout the season.
"But I think to start off with I won’t give myself too much pressure which I already have it now as a rookie," she laughed.
"I really hope that I would be able to keep my card, keep my ground on the LPGA.
"Hopefully I could have some good finishes throughout the year.
He - also goes by the name Lily Muni He - currently resides in Simi Valley, California but was born in Chengdu, China where she grew up playing golf aged just five. Her family made the move to Canada for several years before deciding to call San Diego their home in the United States.
In her early years He participated in wide range of sports in her early years including figure skating and volleyball.
"In elementary school I ran track for a little bit for my school in district and I was also on the volleyball team and basketball team but it’s just for after-school activity only for fun nothing really too competitive," she said.
"I also did figure skating for a short while but I don’t really think I was very good at it," He laughed.
Throughout He's career accuracy has always been the strongest part of her game and she is continually determined to develop areas of her game that need fine-tuning.
"In the past year, my game’s been really changing and improving," she said.
"I actually see my short games is getting better and better and gaining more confidence in myself when it comes to short games. I’m always changing and trying to make my weakness into my strength that’s really my goal.
Off the course, He takes a keen interest in film and photography and she currently has 170,000 social media followers on Instagram where she shares some of her images.
"Film and photography is very interesting and I think I've always wanted to be very good at it," she says.
"I really like it whether it's phone camera or any camera in general, it really interests me. My parents also know this about me and I’ve been very lucky in the past as they got me some great cameras I’m very thankful for that.
He is excited to see Adelaide for the first time and the chance to visit Australia brought back memories of her holding a koala at a young age on her first and only experience down-under.
"I’ve been to Australia once in my life before but it was back when I was so young that I could barely remember," He said.
"I could only remember that I was at the zoo and holding a koala, I was crying as I didn’t realize how big and heavy they actually were as I was so small. It’s been a very long time but I’m really excited to come back to Australia this year.
"I’ve never actually been to Adelaide before. I think I’m very excited about the experience that Australia has to offer. So I’m very very excited to go to the Australian Open in Adelaide."