Girls' Golf: Young trio advances

Youth served as a theme for Newport-Mesa golfers competing in Monday's CIF Southern Section Southern Individual Regional at Mile Square Golf Course in Fountain Valley.

One freshman, Alyaa Abdulghany of Corona del Mar High, and two sophomores, Newport Harbor's Grace Ferrell and CdM's Amy Matsuoka, were among those who advanced to the CIF Southern Section Individual Finals Nov. 7 at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente.

The trio battled a bit of rain, and cold at Mile Square's Classic Course (par 72).

Abdulghany led the way among the trio, finishing tied for seventh at 72. She tied with four others.

Ferrell and Matsuoka tied for 12th with five others at 73.

Each of the girls had dazzling performances during the regular season and kept it going at Mile Square.

Ferrell was runner-up in the Sunset League and was named the league's MVP. She medaled in nine of the 10 matches in league. She's Newport Harbor's first league MVP in 10 years in girls' golf, Sailors' Coach Scott Tarnow said. She shot one-over 111 (37-74) in the two-day event.

Matsuoka won the Pacific Coast League title last week and is believed to be CdM's first individual champ, Coach Mike Starkweather said.

She shot three-under 137 (70-67) in the two-day PCL finals. Abdulghany shot 70-73-143 to finish fourth.

CdM's "A Team" of Amy and Alyaa was spectacular during the regular season.

Of the Sea Kings' 14 matches this season, Matsuoka medaled seven times and Abdulghany medaled six times. Matsuoka missed two matches to compete in American Junior Golf Assn. events, Starkweather said.

"These are probably the two most dedicated golfers that CdM has ever seen," said Starkweather, the longtime coach. "They practice three to five hours a day and play in other tournaments outside of high school. They are very talented and very rigorous in their attempts to be the best golfers."

Estancia senior Denise Casillas finished 107th at the Southern Regional. She shot 103.

She finished fourth last week at the Orange Coast League finals, grabbing the final qualifying spot to play in the Southern Regional.

Junior Monika Poomcharoen of Temecula Great Oak won Monday's event, shooting a 66. Mission Viejo senior Brittany Farrell was second at 68 and Long Beach Wilson freshman Ali Morallos as third at 69.

The cut-off to advance was 77.

Sage Hill School junior Stephanie Cho competed in the CIF Southern Section Northern Regional Monday at the River Ridge Golf Club's Vineyard Course in Oxnard.

She shot 12-over 84 and did not advance. The cut-off was 78.

Cho finished third in the Academy League last week. She shot 15-over 87 at San Clemente Municipal Golf Course Oct. 21 and then tied for the lowest score in the league finale Oct. 22 with a 10-over 82.

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