Jocelyn Chia once more the best around

Though the disappointment from not reaching the CIF State Tournament might still linger, Jocelyn Chia won't let it detract from her overall body of work this season.

If anything, missing out on state might make the standout Crescenta Valley High girls’ golfer wiser and hungrier entering next season. There are still a few goals to aim for while improving her overall game while trying to clear the final obstacle.

“It’s a shame I couldn’t make it to state because that’s the ultimate goal, but I’m moving forward,” said Chia, a junior. “I already know what I need to work on to get to that last step.

“I felt like I met all of my other expectations and the team was a lot better. It’s just going to take a lot of more hard work with the different parts of my game to make it to state.”

She won her second straight Pacific League individual championship and helped Crescenta Valley share a piece of the league championship with Arcadia. When the postseason arrived, Chia again proved to be a force.

She helped the Falcons finish sixth at the CIF Southern Section Central Team Divisional before advancing all the way to the CIF Southern Section Individual Final and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament — the third round of individual play — for the third season in a row.

It’s because of those accomplishments that Chia has been unanimously chosen the 2012 All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year by the sports writers and editors of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader, La Cañada Valley Sun and Pasadena Sun. It marks the third straight season that Chia has received the honor.

“I’m proud for being able to get that far again,” Chia said. “I thought playing in league was real fun.

“It was cool to be able to share league because it’s a big accomplishment for the team. We thought we had a good team coming into the season and we had the type of players who never gave up and kept on battling.”

Individually, Chia faced considerably less drama during the league prelims at Brookside Golf Course No. 1 in Pasadena. Chia raced to a six-stroke lead through the first 18 holes of the 36-hole competition against Burbank sophomore Irene Maemura. Chia maintained her six-shot lead in the second round to sew up another championship.

“I wanted to try to get a bigger lead,” said Chia, who captured the league individual crown in 2011 in a card-off. “Overall, I was happy to win it again.”

Crescenta Valley third-year Coach Lee Pope said Chia proved again she was capable of mastering the various golf courses and their layouts.

“Her game was so stellar in every aspect,” Pope said. “She pounded the ball an extra 15-20 yards off the tee.

“She finished five-under-par in league this year. A lot of that had to do with the fact she’s battle tested and a tournament player. She’s unflappable on the course. Whether she’s shooting a 72 or an 82, you can’t tell.”

After ruling the Pacific League, Chia and the Falcons teamed up to record their second straight sixth-place finish at the team divisional at Los Serranos Country Club’s North Course in Chino Hills. Chia recorded a five-over-par 79.

While the Falcons didn’t advance, Chia did as an individual. She participated in the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual Regional at River Ridge Golf Course in Oxnard.

Though she double-bogeyed the 18th hole, Chia finished with an even-par 72 and was one of 16 golfers from the field to card even-par or better.

“I knew what to expect going in,” Chia said. “I didn’t play my best, but I wanted to just qualify for the next round.”

Chia returned to Chino Hills to take part in the CIF Southern Section Girls’ Golf Individual Final at Western Hills Country Club. Chia finished with an eight-over-par 80, but wasn’t sure if she made the cut to qualify for the CIF-Women’s Southern California Golf Assn. Regional State Qualifier at Rancho California Golf Club in Murrieta. The cut turned out to be 80.

Pope said Chia was eager to find out if she extended her season.

“Everybody struggled at Western Hills,” Pope said. “There was tough visibility and the greens were incredibly fast.

“We were just hoping the cut was around 80. She was able to get through that because the course was so tight.”

At the state qualifier, Chia finished at six-over-par 78 in the field of 142. After struggling on the front nine, Chia bounced back on the back nine at even par in the rain. Unfortunately for Chia, it wasn’t enough to extend her season.

“She went out there and did everything she possibly could,” Pope said. “It’s just about trying to get over that last hump.

“I’d like to see her win league again and get to state next year. It would be a great way to cap her career by clearing that last hurdle.”

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