CHINO HILLS — On the eve of the biggest round of her career, Tammy Panich didn’t get much sleep.
The Glendale Community College women’s golfer said she slept for about five hours in between planning ahead for her final round of the California Community College Athletic Assn. Women’s Golf State Championships on Tuesday.
Panich shook off the lack of sleep and stepped to the forefront in the biggest moment in her career.
Panich fired an even-par 74 to finish tied for first with Kayla Riede of Sacramento City College, but won in a card-off to capture the state crown at Los Serranos Country Club’s North Course.
“It hasn’t sunk in yet that I’ve won it, but I’m just tired and hungry,” said Panich, who finished her two-round competition with a 150 and became the first Vaquero — man or woman — to capture a state golf crown. “I was so nervous that I just couldn’t sleep last night and I’m just proud to have won state.”
Riede also carded a 74, however, Panich, a Glendale High graduate, won the card-off on the strength of an even-par 36 on the back nine, compared to a 38 from Riede, who took runner-up for the second year in a row.
About 45 minutes after Riede completed her round, as she competed in the team competition, Panich had an opportunity to win outright on the par-five 18th hole.
Panich, a former All-Area member who earlier won the Western State Conference individual title, had a chance for birdie. However, her 30-foot putt edged around the hole, forcing her to settle for par.
“I hit a shot out of the bunker and then tried for the birdie,” said Panich, who was one of four players from the field of 24 to shoot even par on Tuesday. “I lipped that next shot and then parred.
“I didn’t know what to think. I walked back to the clubhouse and I didn’t think I’d win.”
Glendale college first-year Coach Greg Osbourne, who is the pro at DeBell Colf Club, said he wasn’t sure if a playoff would be held to determine a winner.
“I didn’t know that it would come down to a card-off,” Osborne said. “Tammy made us proud and that’s huge.
“Coming into the final round, she told me she was nervous. She overcame the nerves and some missed putts, she overcame everything to become a state champion.”
Panich, who transferred to Glendale from Cal State Northridge, said she trusted Osborne’s approach of patience and confidence to put her into position to win state.
“It was a successful year and it turned out better than I could’ve expected,” Panich said. “I struggled at Northridge, but Coach Osborne said he was confident I could win state.
“It took a lot of hard work, but I also know that I got better because of that.”
Tina Yang of Mount San Jacinto shot a 74 for a two-round 152 to finish third.
Irvine Valley won the team title with a 650, followed by College of the Canyons’ 654.