Lilly DeNunzio knows success on and off the golf course comes down to one thing: Hard work. And she’s more than happy to put in the work it takes to succeed whether it’s on the golf course or in the classroom. The end results include state titles and a full-ride golf and academic scholarship to BYU. And she’s just getting started. –By Bill Bowman, LasVegasGolfInsider.com
DeNunzio’s success on the golf course includes the 2022 individual Southern Region title and being part of two team state championship squads while playing at Coronado High School.
She said her second year in high school was when she started looking at golf as being a big part of her future.
“My sophomore year I started to really think about wanting to play on the LPGA Tour,” she said. “I had started to play a little better and started feeling really good about my game. I know it can last a long time.”
Still, she knows there is a lot of work ahead in making sure her game keeps improving.
“Right now, I still need to work on my chipping,” she said. “I’m a little inconsistent. Some days I’ll have some super good chips and the next round I’m totally off. I need to get rid of some of the mistakes I make.”
As an example of mistakes she’s trying to get rid of she points out the state tournament.
“At state the first day I was four-over through four holes,” she said. “But I kept it together and just tried to hit fairways and greens. I got it to one-under after the first day so I showed myself that I can overcome adversity.”
She credits the ability to battle through some of that adversity to her SNJGA days.
“The SNJGA really had a big impact on me,” she said. “When I first started out all I could think of was I had to always play well. They showed me that it’s OK to just go out and play your best. That really helped my mindset to not spiral out of control if I’m not playing my best.”
Now it’s on to the college scene. It is a challenge she is thrilled to take on. And that will include time on the course and in the classroom.
“My freshman year my goal is to just keep a level head,” she said. “I just want to play my game and make other goals from there.”
And in the classroom?
“I’m going to get the best grades I can,” she said as she is preparing to go into graphic design. “I want to finish at the top of my class. While my first goal after college is the LPGA Tour, good grades can lead to a good job and that is crucial.”
But for now, it’s time to hit the range and work on her game.
“Definitely my putting is my biggest strength,” she said. “And I’m consistent off the tee. But there’s a lot of other aspects I want to keep improving.”