Monica Vaughan goes low with 58

Updated: December 2, 2020

Pacific Northwest native and former Arizona State player Monica Vaughan went lower than low in a recent college fundraiser at Eugene Country Club. Vaughan fired a 58, but she did want the record to indicate that she shot the 58 from the forward tees at Eugene (Oregon) Country Club. The forward tees at Eugene usually measure 5,587 yards and play to a par 72. But with the par-4 11th under construction and temporarily playing as a par 3, par is 71.

Vaughn, 25, who has struggled with the yips for years, had 11 birdies and an eagle on the day with 25 putts.

The Oregon women’s assistant began to feel the pressure mount as word spread and men’s head coach Casey Martin came out to watch along with his assistant, Brad Lanning.

“I don’t think I’ve felt this nervous since winning the national championship,” said Vaughn, who won the individual title in 2017 and then helped Arizona State win the team title, too.

She shot 8 under on the front nine and was 11 under through 13 holes. When Martin showed up, Vaughn went from fundraiser mojo to full-on player mode. A snap-hook off the tee on the 14th and a blocked shot right on the 16th into the trees got her thinking,                  

Shooting 59 had never been a goal of Vaughn’s. She two-putted from 70 feet on the 17th hole and, after a flushed drive up the last, wedged it to tap-in range for the 58.

Since the day Vaughn pulled out of the first stage of LPGA Q-School (before it started), she has fielded the same question: Why didn’t you give the tour a shot? The question has popped up often again since the 58.

The simplest answer is that pro golf was never a goal of Vaughn’s. From the day she committed to Arizona State, the goal was to win a national title. The pursuit of that goal, Vaughn admits, got a little unhealthy at times. But her storybook senior year ended with an individual title at both NCAA regionals and the NCAA Championship.