Jocelyn Chia wins her second consecutive league golf title

PASADENA — This time, Jocelyn Chia avoided all suspense.

The Crescenta Valley High girls’ golfer won her second consecutive Pacific League individual championship Wednesday afternoon at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 rather comfortably by six strokes after taking the title last season in a card-off.

Chia maintained her six-stroke lead entering Wednesday’s round, as she shot a two-over-par 77 to finish with a total of 255 to best Burbank’s Irene Maemura by six strokes.

“Last year when I found out I won, it was like wow,” said Chia, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Golfer of the Year. “Even coming in with a six-stroke lead today, I wanted to get an even bigger lead.

“I made some little mistakes with my short game, but overall I’m happy to win it again.”

The total of the four lowest scores throughout the Pacific league season, plus the league prelims on Oct. 8 and Wednesday’s round determined the league champion.

In the league individual final last season at Jurupa Hills Country Club in Riverside County, Chia tied with Katherine Guo of Arcadia at 259. However, Chia won in a card-off by virtue of shooting two less strokes on the back nine.

On Wednesday, Chia was one of seven from the field of 18 to advance to the CIF Southern Section Individual Regional, which will begin at 8 a.m. Oct. 25 at River Ridge Golf Course’s Vineyard Course in Oxnard.

Joining Chia, a junior who helped Crescenta Valley finish tied for a league title with Arcadia in league on Oct. 8 at La Cañada Country Club, at the individuals will be teammate Audrey Chung, Maemura, Melissa Leo of La Cañada, Kayla Yn and Michelle Cheung of Arcadia and Burroughs’ Joany Gao.

Leo fired an 81 to finish third at 274, followed by Yn, (85, 278), Cheung (82, 282), Chung (81, 286) and Gao (86, 287).

Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope, who led the Falcons to a piece of their first league championship since 2007, said Chia remained focus throughout her round Wednesday.

“Going into her round, I told her she had to win,” said Pope, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year. “Irene made Jocelyn step up. That brought the best out of Jocelyn. Audrey went out there and had to grind it out. She showed her determination, and she’s been fighting back all year.”

Maemura, a sophomore, said she tried to cut into Chia’s lead Wednesday, but to no avail.

“I felt like I went out there and did OK,” Maemura said. “I was a little nervous going into the round.

“My swing felt good. I just have to focus a little more the next time.”

Leo took third in league for the second straight season after helping the Spartans finish third in league and earn a trip, along with Crescenta Valley and Arcadia, to the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional at Los Serranos Golf & Country Club in Chino Hills at 8 a.m. Monday.

La Cañada Coach Rich Wheeler said Leo, an All-Area honoree last season, has continued to improve.

“Melissa went out there and came through again,” Wheeler said. “She knew what place she would come in and she knows that she can do even better.

“She seems to be getting more comfortable each week. Melissa sees how things work and I’m extremely pleased with how she’s faring.”

Gao, who was named to the All-Area team last season, will make her third appearance in a row at the CIF Individual.

Burroughs Coach Greg Everhart said Gao, a junior, achieved her goal of extending her season.

“It’s the first step, and she’d like to advance to the next round after that after just missing last year,” Everhart said. “She went out there and did what she had to do [Wednesday] to qualify.”

CV’s Andrea Han shot an 88 to finish with a 296, followed by Arcadia’s Mikaela Santos with a 90 (ninth, 301), Ashley Cheou of Arcadia with a 96 (10th, 302) and La Cañada’s Jennifer Kim with a 97 (11th, 302). Cynthia Guo of Arcadia had a 95 to take 12th with a 303, followed by Gina Chung of Crescenta Valley with a 92 (13th, 311), Tess Apinchapong of Burbank with a 94 (14th, 304), Caroline Van Hiel of San Marino with a 106 (15th, 323), Keilee Bessho of La Cañada with a 95 (16th, 324), Tess Denham of San Marino with a 98 (17th, 328) and Alice Yoon of Crescenta Valley with an 87 (18th, 398).

San Marino Coach Wyeth Collo said the Titans’ two scorers finished with mixed results Wednesday.

“I’m happy for Tess because she will be OK for next year,” Collo said. “She needs to continue working on parts of her game.

“With Caroline, she started off the season well, but it’s just a tough way for her to finish.”

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