As tiny Lauren Gomez lay in her crib, father Rick Gomez placed something in his precious daughter's crib.
A golf club.
Let's just say that Gomez has made her dad proud.
Lauren is now a freshman at Point Loma High School, and several weeks ago she defeated 101 of the best girl golfers from among hundreds in San Diego and Imperial counties to win the San Diego CIF golf championship.
After two days and 36 holes, Gomez didn't just survive a late charge by an opponent or escape with the title after a playoff among players tied for the lead.
Gomez simply blistered the course on the first day, turning in a card of seven under par to take a three stroke lead over Mater Dei's Brianna Navarrosa. Then on the second day she finished two under par for a two-day total of nine under par.
That score was good for a four-stroke victory over Navarrosa.
"I noticed the TV cameras were starting to follow me towards the end," she said, explaining how she knew she was about to get the win.
For her feat, Gomez was named CIF's Girls Golf Player of the Year.
Earlier, Gomez led her team to an undefeated Eastern League championship, an overall fifth place finish among 35 Div. I teams and a seventh place CIF team standing.
Going back to her earlier days, Gomez had to master some preliminary skills, such as walking, before she took those little golf clubs into her hands.
"I first started playing golf when I was 3," Gomez recalled during a recent interview on the Pointer campus. "My dad and I would always go out and play when I was 7 or 8."
By the age of 10, Rick Gomez decided she was ready for tournaments.
"My father put me in my first tournament at 10," Gomez said. "It was the North County Junior Golf Association (event) at Welk Resort."
"I won a trophy and it ignited my passion," she added.
Lauren's mom, Sue, oversees and schedules her tournaments. Both parents, who own a construction finance business, attend these events.
After playing in numerous tournaments and winning many more trophies, Gomez entered high school and a new opportunity to play on a team.
"Our coach is 'JRod,' or Joe Rodriquez," Gomez said, "It was a really good experience for me and I had a really good time."
In virtually every team match this season, Gomez was the medalist or low scorer. She recalled her best round in the nine-hole matches as a four under par 32, a score most adult golfers would envy.
"I do practice a lot," Gomez responded when pressed about her outstanding scores.
Yes she does.
"My home course is Riverwalk in Mission Valley," Gomez said, "And I practice hours and hours every day."
A typical daily practice session may begin with some time at the Loma Club course in Liberty Station "working on my short game" followed by "hitting balls or playing a round with my dad and friends at Riverwalk. I love to practice, and the people at Riverwalk know us, so we just get a key and take a cart."
Looking ahead, Gomez hopes to repeat her individual CIF championship before moving on to college.
"Stanford is my dream school," she said, noting the Cardinal has the No. 2 rated golf program in the nation.
"And definitely another dream is to make the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tour," she added.
"It's a big goal, and I'm taking it one day at a time."
One day, and hours of practice.