Chia moves on in CIF

Finding herself in a familiar position, Crescenta Valley High sophomore golfer Jocelyn Chia notched herself a familiar result.

A season removed from a run to the Southern California championships, the Falcons' standout golfer took her next step in duplicating her rookie success, as she tallied a two-over-par-74 to tie for 23rd and advance past Monday's CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regionals on the Vineyard Course of the River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard.

"Jocelyn really held her own," said Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope, who saw Chia finish in a tie for 23rd at last year's event, as well. "She struggled a little off the tee — she's been battling a hook — but she's such a game competitor.

"Her short game is just so stellar that it made up for [her struggles off the tee]."

Chia's 74 tied with two others, including Arcadia's Katherine Guo, as 45 golfers advanced to next week's CIF Individual Final and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament in San Clemente. The cut was 77, but the day was largely characterized by a bevy of stellar scores, with 12 players finishing under par — including a pair of 67s to lead the day — and five others shooting par.

"It was so brutal," said Pope, adding that as he sat down at the scorer's table, the first four scores that came in were a 67, a 68 and two 69s. "I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, this is just the first group.'

"Eventually it evened out."

Chia more than held her own and never got caught up in the added pressure of the field's overall success.

"I was just trying to focus on myself," said Chia, the current Pacific League individual champion, whose usual, calm demeanor proved an asset once again. "If I freak out over something, I don't do well. If I get too excited about a birdie, I'll probably mess up the next hole and if I get too upset over a bogey, I'll probably mess up the next one, too."

But on Monday, aside with some difficulty off the tee, all went well for Chia.

"Other than that, I did pretty well," she said.

Last year in the regionals at Las Posas Country Club in Camarillo, Chia shot a 10-over-par-81 to tie for 23rd. Her score card was greatly improved this time around, but Pope said she's always had the experience.

"She's tournament tested," Pope said. "Not just last year's [CIF], she's been playing with these tournament stakes for four or five years in these junior tournaments.

"She came through with flying colors."

Four of eight Pacific League entrants moved on, with Chia, two Arcadia players and San Marino's Tiffany Gu, who shot a 77 — one of eight players to tie for the final slots.

"It was a good showing for the league overall," Pope said.

South Pasadena's Katie Rosenberg also advanced with a 77.

Other area golfers who took part, but did not qualify included Burroughs' Joany Gao and Ravipa Losakul, who shot a 78 and 79, respectively, with Gao acting as next week's first alternate. La Cañada's Melissa Leo shot an 84, South Pasadena's Melody Jue and Victoria Carlos carded an 82 and 95, respectively, and La Salle's trio of Lauren Schano (94), Cheri Raymundo (107) and Juliet Brooks (115) also took part.

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