Chia seeking first trip to state

With a top-six finish at today's CIF Individual Final and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament, Jocelyn Chia can make plans to pack her bags for Pebble Beach.

No matter how gigantic the event is, the Crescenta Valley High girls' sophomore golfer isn't one to necessarily look ahead.

Chia will look to have her long and short games up to speed at the qualifying tournament, which will be held at The Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta.

The top six from today's competition will advance to the state championship, which will be held Tuesday at Poppy Hills Golf Course.

"I want to get to state," said Chia, who advanced to today's 18-hole round Monday after she carded a six-over-par 78 to finish in a four-way tie for 27th at the CIF Southern Section Individual Final Championships at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente. "I want to go out there and have fun, but I also know that I really can't get too excited.

"I'm glad I have another chance to get this far. I just have to take it shot by shot."

It will mark the second consecutive season that Chia, the reigning All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year, advanced to the individual final. Last season, Chia registered a seven-over-par 79 to finish in an eight-way tie for 49th place.

Chia will look to vastly improve upon that finish.

"I know the course better and a lot of the players," said Chia, who won the Pacific League's individual championship and then shot a two-over-par-74 to tie for 23rd at the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regionals. "I've had a good short game just about all the time and I want to have that going again."

On Monday, Chia finished with 11 pars, five bogeys, one birdie and one double-bogey.

Crescenta Valley second-year Coach Lee Pope, whose team took second in league and sixth at the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional, said last season's experience at the event will help Chia today.

"She played there last year and it's going to be all about course knowledge," Pope said. "She's battle tested having played in so many tournaments, so she's got that in her favor.

"It's probably going to take under par to advance to state. It will come down to a lucky bounce here or there. If she can get the right breaks, then who knows?"

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