Tangtiphaiboontana Wins Individual Championship
It has been a difficult senior year for Jenni Tangtiphaiboontana, who has been affected by personal tragedy, the stress of picking a college and the on-course failure of her touted Long Beach Wilson girls’ golf team, but Thursday she shot two-under-par 70 in pristine conditions at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs and won the Southern Section individual championship.
Tangtiphaiboontana hit 11 of 12 fairways, 13 greens in regulation and sank a 60-foot putt for one of her four birdies. She followed each of her two bogeys with a birdie.
“I felt pretty good out there,” Tangtiphaiboontana said. “I was hitting the ball good and putting well. I was relaxed.”
All the while she kept her mind clear of the disappointment from Wilson’s fifth-place finish in the section team finals Monday that kept the Bruins, ranked No. 1 by The Times, from advancing to the CIF-WSCGA finals.
Also free from the pressures of college recruiting, having signed Nov. 13 with Stanford, Tangtiphaiboontana kept in check emotions from a personal loss that would send many reeling.
Her parents were killed in a car accident as they drove Jenni and Wilson teammate Dianne Sirisut home from the section team championships last fall.
“They were in the back of my mind,” Jenni said. “I didn’t think about them specifically, but they are always there.”
She did think about trying to stay on top of a field that included several top-notch underclassmen. Sophomore Jennie Lee of Huntington Beach Edison and junior Amie Cochran of West Torrance tied at 71.Freshman Angela Park of Torrance was another stroke back at 72. Sophomore Sommer Scholl of Riverside King was among the three tied at 73.
-- Peter Yoon
Riza Zalameda won all but two games while sweeping three sets at No. 2 singles, and the top two doubles teams also swept for top-seeded Beverly Hills in a 13-5 victory over Laguna Beach in a Southern Section Division I girls’ tennis semifinal match at Beverly Hills.
The doubles victories by Tova Hausman and Anna Litovsky at No. 1 and Stephanie Ellis and Liana Babich at No. 2 helped Beverly Hills (21-0) win seven of nine sets. A 6-2 victory by Hausman and Litovsky over Laguna Beach’s No. 2 doubles team of Jackie Reed and Britton Simons made the score 10-3 in the third round and clinched the victory.
Doubles play set the tone early as Ellis and Babich won, 6-4, and the Normans’ third team of Jade Sherman and Vivian Yoon won, 7-6 (3), in first-round sets to help Beverly Hills to a 5-1 lead. The fourth-seeded Breakers, making the jump to Division I after winning the last four Division V titles, never recovered.
“That was it,” Hausman said of the quick start. “It’s a huge difference in your confidence and momentum.”
-- Lauren Peterson