MURRIETA — A brilliant four-year career that included multiple Pacific League individual championships and deep postseason advancement came to an end for Crescenta Valley High senior golfer Jocelyn Chia on Thursday afternoon.
The three-time reigning All-Area Player of the Year carded a five-over-77 at her fourth consecutive visit to the CIF-Women’s Southern California Golf Association Championship and Regional State Qualifier at the Golf Club at Rancho California in Murrieta and did not advance to the season-ending state championship at Quail Lodge in Carmel.
Chia’s score tied for 42nd overall out of a field of 124 golfers, as she was four strokes off the qualifying mark of 73.
Despite obvious disappointment in falling short of qualifying to state for a fourth straight year, Chia held a stiff upper lip.
“I’m not going to bawl my eyes out in the corner. I had a tough day, sure, but I’m proud that I even got this far,” she said. “I started the season with the hope that I would advance to state and it didn’t happen, so that’s disappointing. But I know I did my best and I know that a lot of people would love to be in my position, so I’m proud.”
Chia began by teeing off on the 411-yard, par-four 18th hole and belonged to perhaps the most competitive foursome in the entire tournament.
Chia was teamed with Torrey’s Pines’ Muni He, whose 68 tied her with San Pasqual’s Haley Moore for the best score of the day, along with individual qualifier Lydia Choi (70) of Beverly Hills and Foothill’s Madie Chou (79).
“The competition didn’t really hurt me,” Chia said. “I didn’t really pay attention to their scores.”
What did prove debilitating was a front nine in which Chia shot five-over, which included a double bogey.
“I don’t know if there’s anything that made this course tough. I mean off all the courses I’ve played, I would say this was average,” Chia said. “I just had a tough day. I was just off.”
Chia attempted to rally over the back nine, including when she connected on back-to-back birdies on the 558-yard, par-five 13th hole and 408-yard, par-four 14th hole.
Overall, Chia, who won league titles her first three seasons as a Falcon, finished her final nine holes at even-par in totaling for a score of five-over-77.
As for team competition, Torrey Pines clinched a championship with 364 points, while Diamond Bar (381), Walnut (382) and Mira Costa (390) all earned advancement to the state final.
“I think with the wind conditions and the fast greens, this is an appropriate course for a state qualifier,” Falcons Coach Lee Pope said. “It’s a tough course and if you’re able to master it, you deserve to move onto state.”
Thursday also concluded the four-year coach-and-player run of Pope and Chia, who arrived at Crescenta Valley within days of each other four years ago.
“I remember when I just was hired there were some rumors of a super freshman that was supposed to enroll at CV,” Pope said. “I’ve had the privilege and pleasure of working with Jocelyn since then. It was a sight to see her win the Pacific League championship her freshman year.
“She’s the best I’ve ever worked with and I’m happy to have coached her these last four years.”