Girls’ golf qualifies for state championship

Varsity girls’ golf qualified for the 2015 CIF State Golf Championships for the second time in Walnut history after finishing second at Southern Regional Championships Thursday, Nov. 12 at Goose Creek Golf Club.

“I kept thinking, ‘Are we going to make it? Was missing school worth it?’” freshman Abigail Wiranatha said. “When I found out we qualified for state, it was one of the best feelings ever.”

In preparation for Thursday’s event, the team played a practice round Saturday, Nov. 7 at Goose Creek. Several players played additional practice rounds on Nov. 9-10, focusing primarily on course management.

“I think the practice round did help because it allowed us to see the course before we played it and to hit certain irons on the par-3s. Hitting greens and two-putting – that is what’s going to win us a championship,” golf coach Cecil Woods said. “Everyone hit the right club on Thursday, but we simply have to execute those shots better. If we can par the par-3s, we can win [state].”

The top three teams and the top 12 individuals at the Southern Regional Championships qualified for the state championship, which will take place Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach. Wiranatha, sophomore Katherine Muzi, junior Anabelle Chang and senior Alison Chang are eligible to compete as individuals in the state championship.

Mira Costa High School placed first at Southern Regionals with a team total of 366. The Mustangs’ second place team total of 374 consisted of sophomore Trussy Li’s 73, Alison’s 74, Wiranatha’s 75 and two scores of 76 from Muzi and Anabelle.

“I had four bogeys [on Thursday], and they were all because of three putts, which was extremely frustrating and disappointing. I also missed several greens, but I was scrambling well and walked off with pars,” Li said. “I just wanted to go out there and play steady golf. Get on the green, save par and move on. I didn’t want to take any risks, since I knew that the scores would be super close and every stroke counted.”

To prepare for the state championship up north, the team will practice earlier in the morning in anticipation of the colder weather and firmer greens at Poppy Hills. The girls played nine holes at Royal Vista Golf Club at 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 and will leave for Poppy Hills at 6 a.m. the following morning.

“My thoughts are if we play our game, we can win the championship. We struggled with the fact that we played so well that we just assumed we could continue to do so,” Woods said. “We have to get our minds right. All we have to do is not get too excited because we have the talent to win [the state championship].”

By Alison Chang, Editor-in-Chief

Photo courtesy of Simon Chang

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