Chia wins 3rd league golf match

ARCADIA — Even after winning the Pacific League individual title last season, Jocelyn Chia knew there would be plenty of challengers looking to dethrone her this season.

Chia, a member of the Crescenta Valley High girls' golf team, looked for another way to improve her overall game — by hitting the ball longer on her tee and approach shots. The technique seems to have worked during the first month of the season.

Chia carded a three-under-par 34 on Monday to earn medalist honors during the third league match at Santa Anita Golf Course.

"I'm getting more experience and I know the courses more," said Chia, who is the reigning All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year who has won all three league matches this season. "I've gained distance by hitting the ball 10-15 yards more with my driver.

"The course wasn't long today, so that helped me and I was able to get some birdies."

Chia finished with three birdies during her nine-hole round to help Crescenta Valley finish second behind Arcadia, the defending league champion. Chia registered birdies on the first, fifth and ninth holes.

Crescenta Valley and Arcadia finished tied for first at 197. However, Arcadia won a card-off by virtue of its sixth scorer shooting a 41 compared to Crescenta Valley's finishing with a 51. San Marino took third (229), La Cañada was fourth (233), Burroughs was fifth (2370 and Burbank took sixth (269).

Crescenta Valley remained in first place with 16 points in the league standings with two matches left. Arcadia is in second with 13 points, followed by San Marino with 12, La Cañada with 11, Burroughs with seven and Burbank with four. The top three teams qualify for the postseason.

Joany Gao of Burroughs, Audrey Chung of Crescenta Valley and La Cañada's Melissa Leo each had 37s.

Gao, who recorded an eagle on the par-five sixth hole, said a change in her equipment led to Monday's surge.

"I just got a new hybrid club that's a combination of wood and iron," said Gao, a junior and reigning All-Area pick. "It helped me out because I had a lot of approach shots land on the greens.

"This gives me even more confidence that I can go out there and do well the next time."

Leo, a junior, also enjoyed another quality outing. Leo, who earned a spot on the All-Area team last season, recorded birdies on the sixth and ninth holes.

"I got most of my shots on the greens, but I still have to work on my course management," Leo said. "The competition in our league is real good."

The next league match will be held at 12:30 p.m. Monday at Hansen Dam Golf Course.

San Marino Coach Wyeth Collo said the Titans received plenty of support from their middle scorers.

"We are still working on things," Collo said. "I think Monday matches are always the toughest with them coming in right after the weekend."

Playing on its home course, Arcadia got 38s from Michelle Cheung and Ashley Cheou, a 39 from Kayla Yn and 41s from Mikaela Santos, Cynthia Guo and Adrienne Lao. Crescenta Valley received 42s from Andrea Han, Gina Chung and Alice Yoon and a 51 from Deborah Chin.

Caroline Van Hiel paced San Marino with a 42. The Titans also got a 44 from Gaby Arifin, 47s from Elizabeth Van Hiel and Valerie Wang and a 49 from Tess Denham.

Jennifer Kim recorded a 47 for La Cañada, which got a 48 from Madelyn Merchant, a 50 from Keilee Bessho and a 51 from May Lo.

Burroughs got a 45 from Alex Chandler, a 46 from Stephanie Adachi, a 54 from Tiffany Mirabel and a 55 from Evyn Freedman.

Burbank's top scorer was Irene Maemura, who finished with a 40. Also scoring for the Bulldogs were Tess Apinchapong (46), Kaitlin Brooks (60), Alexis Poche (61) and Caitlin McGrath (62).

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