After seeing her previous three attempts at qualifying for the state championship come up short, Jocelyn Chia is grateful for one final chance.
Chia, a senior on the Crescenta Valley High girls’ golf team, will look to finally clear that hurdle when she competes in the CIF/Women’s Southern California Golf Assn. Regional State Qualifier at 8 a.m. Thursday at The Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta.
Chia, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Golfer of the Year, will attack the par-72 course looking for a top-nine finish to advance to the state tournament on Wednesday at Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel. The top three teams and top nine individuals not on qualifying teams qualify for Carmel.
“I’m feeling pretty good and I’m thankful for another opportunity,” said Chia, who reached Thursday’s round after she carded an even-par 71 in the CIF Southern Section Individual Final and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament at Talega Golf Course in San Clemente on Nov. 7. “I’m going to try to make the most of it and also have some fun.
“I know there’s going to be a lot of good players and I know a lot of them having played in tournaments with them. California is one of the toughest states to play because there are so many quality golfers.”
Chia was one of 11 golfers to shoot par or better at Talega with the cutoff being 75. The three-time Pacific League champion carded a 78 at the state qualifier last season.
Chia, the only area athlete to participate in Thursday’s round, will look to draw from her previous experiences playing at The Golf Club at Rancho California.
“I know the course pretty well,” said Chia, who helped Crescenta Valley place second in the Pacific League. “It’s a longer course than normal, but it’s not really too long for me.
“There are a few holes that you have to look out for.”
Crescenta Valley Coach Lee Pope said Chia played one of her top rounds of the season at Talega and a similar effort Thursday might send her north.
“We hope she can keep it up after what she did last week,” said Pope, the reigning All-Area Girls’ Golf Coach of the Year. “The goal is to get her past this round and the whole school has their fingers crossed she can do it.
“She realizes this will be her last chance. She’s got a lot of experience playing the course. If she can manage the course well, I think she’ll be fine. If she can keep it around even par or one under, then she’s got a great chance at moving on.”