GLENDALE — An appendectomy shortly before the season began didn't derail Tammy Panich, it simply slowed her down at the start.
She took on all challenges from the field making up the competitive Western State Conference, considered to be the best in the state and that didn't derail her either.
The Glendale Community College sophomore women's golfer hasn't let anything stop her yet.
Her recent play on courses from La Verne to Ventura County proved she was one of the best junior college golfers around.
Fresh off winning the conference championship, Panich will take part in the Southern California Regionals, which will be held Sunday and Monday at the Alisal River Golf Course in Solvang.
The top 12 finishers from the event will move on to the state championship, which will take place Nov. 15 at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills.
Before entertaining the thought of participating in the state championship, Panich will look to build on her solid effort at the conference championship. Panich, a Glendale High graduate who transferred to Glendale college after spending her freshman season at Cal State Northridge, finished with four birdies and shot a two-under-par 72 on Monday to win the conference championship.
"I'm confident and I think I will continue to play well," said Panich, who finished with a two-day 145 and became the first Vaquero to win a conference crown in the program's four-year history. "I know that I have to go out there and play my game by staying focused.
"If I can do that, then I can move on to state."
Panich, who won the conference title by four strokes over Malea Miller of Bakersfield, will be the first Vaquero to take part in the regionals since Brittney Gonzalez in 2008 at Desert Dunes Golf Club in Desert Hot Springs. Gonzalez missed qualifying for the state championship by one stroke.
Glendale college first-year Coach Greg Osbourne, whose team finished fourth in conference, said Panich has improved in all facets of her game.
"It's great to see her go out there and qualify for regionals," said Osbourne, who also coaches the college's men's program. "She proved to be a dominant force in our conference.
"Her strengths are her consistency, accuracy and mind set."