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Monica Vaughn has small town roots, but big time aspirations

SHe's the oldest member of the 2016 Curtis Cup team and first Oregon native to hold that honor

Sophomore Monica Vaughn  hits the ball down the fairway at the 2015 Clover Cup at Longbow Golf  Club in Mesa, Arizona, on March 13, 2015.

Sophomore Monica Vaughn hits the ball down the fairway at the 2015 Clover Cup at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona, on March 13, 2015.

Growing up in a small town with barely 4,000 people in Reedsport, Oregon, there wasn't much to do other than golf for Monica Vaughn.

"Golf means the world to me. I've met so many influential people and traveled to so many beautiful and incredible places in my life because of this sport I love so much," Vaughn said.

But, she isn't the only person from her town to have a golf obsession.

"I watched them build our golf course here in our little town when I was 8 years old. They built the course, we all sat there and watched it and everybody in town went and bought golf clubs," Chris Vaughn, Monica's father, said. "So golf kind of became a big deal in this little town in Oregon."

Vaughn didn't just become a big deal to her close friends and family, but also to everyone in her town and surrounding area.

“Monica has a large fan base, and everybody in this town is excited to watch the tournaments, follow her online, and it’s been fun for the whole town really,” Renee Vaughn, Monica's mother, said.

After winning the Oregon School Activities Association state golf championships in 2011 and 2013, and being the youngest player ever at the age of 15 to win the Oregon Women's amateur, Vaughn had plenty of Division I offers.

A multitude of Pac-12 schools came calling — hoping to sign the talented Vaughn. Eventually she chose ASU and the women’s golf program.

With all this success funneling in for Vaughn, there was always one opportunity that she and her family never thought would be even a blip on the radar. 

"I knew that my sophomore year, I had a really good year," Vaughn said. "Honestly I wasn't thinking about the Curtis Cup, it wasn't even a goal to make the Curtis Cup team. I had never even gave it a thought." 

Vaughn was able to earn a spot on the Curtis Cup team with a huge victory in the spring at the 2016 Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in Palos Verdes, California. 

"She played her way on the team essentially. She won that tournament and she was selected by the International Selection Committee with her play," Robin Burke, 2016 USA Curtis Cup team captain, said. "I don't know what made her play great in that tournament, other than she is a great player. 

"She just got the job done, probably just out of the will and want to make the Curtis Cup team."

Vaughn played in all five sessions for the Curtis Cup team, completing a 3-2 week played in Dublin, Ireland at the Dun Laoghaire Golf Club. She won her only singles match against England's Rochelle Morris by winning 6 holes and scoring 3 birdies.

As for the team events, Vaughn was paired with Curtis Cup member Bailey Tardy from the University of Georgia for two events in which they lost to the Ireland pairing; including Vaughn's soon-to-be-teammate and ASU freshman Olivia Mehaffey

"When we were both on the course we were trying to win our matches," Mehaffey said. "I knew after that we would both be fine, I knew we were going to be teammates and everything. It was nice to win and get the points for my country, but obviously I didn't want to play Mo."

As for Vaughn losing the first team event to Mehaffey, she approached the second team event with a little more attitude.

"I knew Liv (Mehaffey) was going to be my teammate, but at this moment and at this time, I'm doing this for me, I'm doing this for the USA, I'm doing this for my Curtis Cup team," Vaughn said. "I have never put so much energy into a round of golf. I wanted to beat her so bad and she knew that."

There's no doubt that being a member of the Curtis Cup team was truly the pinnacle of Vaughn's amateur golf career thus far, but coming into the 2016 college golf season, she has an even more challenging goal to accomplish in front of her.

"It will feel like an in your face kind of moment," Vaughn said. "I have been telling everybody that we are going to win a National Championship, this is our best opportunity right now.

"We want to prove it to ourselves and to other people so bad, that we just want to like walk off and put that ring on our finger, and us knowing that there was no way we weren't going to win a National Championship."

Reach the reporter at or follow @Tyler_Handlan on Twitter.

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