One golfer does not make a team.
Diamond Bar and Rowland high schools each have one of the best junior golfers in Southern California. But when each failed to break par in Thursday’s CIF Southern California/WSCGA championships at The Golf Club at Rancho Murrieta, it was up to the other five golfers to get each team through to the state finals.
“It was not my best,” Diamond Bar’s Bethany Wu said. “But as long as the team does well...”
Diamond Bar shot a combined 21-over-par 381 and Rowland shot a 382 to earn berths into Wednesday’s final at Quail Lodge in Carmel. Reigning state champion Torrey Pines won the eight-team tournament with a 364. Mira Costa finished fourth with a 390 and will not advance.
“It’s so exciting,” said Walnut’s Tiffany Kuroki, who signed a national letter of intent with Albany on Wednesday. “Last year I missed this cut in individuals by one. It’s really cool that all of our hard work and practice paid off and now we get to visit that beautiful Carmel.”
La Mirada’s Danielle Lee shot a 1-under-par 71 to finish eighth overall to earn one of the nine spots into next week’s tournament. Eight players broke par, led by Torrey Pines’ Muni He and San Pasqual’s Haley Moore. They both shot a 4-under-par 68 and He won in a playoff. Los Osos’ Angela Then shot a 3-over-par 75 and failed to advance to state.
The Brahmas, who finished second to Torrey Pines at both the Southern California and state tournaments last year, had four player shoot within six shots of par. Wu, a junior who committed to UCLA last year, shot an even-par 72 on the 6,818-yard layout.
“The greens were faster than they looked,”Wu said. “I couldn’t get used to the greens. I couldn’t get my speed.”
Wu even four-putted the par-5 13th hole. She took 33 putts.
Joan Park shot a 2-over 74, Esther Yin a 76, Kaitleen Shee a 78 and Josephine Chang an 81.
“It’s really nice to know that all of our hard work paid off,” said Park, who had four birdies and six bogeys. “We’re all really happy with our scores.”
It was a 10-stroke improvement from last year over the same course for the Brahmas.
“Since advancing last year, this year was different,” Diamond Bar coach Tony McCabe said. “Then, they were hoping they would advance. This year we were expected to advance. It’s a little different feeling.
“These are two really good teams, no doubt. Walnut beats us and we beat them. I hope we get them one more time.”
Walnut’s Patricia Wong shot a 2-over-par 74, and if the Mustangs had not advanced as a team, she would have failed to advance, too.
“This was not my best, definitely,” she said. “My putting was very terrible. But this is a big accomplishment for us.”
The Mustangs, in their first Southern California final in only their third year of the program, got a 74 from Alison Chang, a 77 from Tiffany Kuroki and an 81 from Serena Hou.
“This is absolutely huge,” Walnut coach Cecil Woods said. “It verifies all the work we do in the summer.”