SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Sierra College will return to the California Community College Athletic Association Women's Golf Championship in Morro Bay looking to defend its 2016 title while Santa Barbara City College, last year's runner-up, will also join the eight-team field next week after both teams captured regional championships over the past two days.
Sierra, paced by medalist Nao Bando who shot a 5-under 141, fired a 647 team score to finish 20 shots ahead of Modesto (667) in the Northern California Regional at Buena Vista Golf Course in Taft. The top four teams in each regional advance to the state championships, a group from Northern California that also includes third-place Canada (671) and Butte (705). Modesto and Canada are also making return appearances at the state championship.
Santa Barbara (661) edged Cuyamaca (662) by a stroke to capture the Southern California Regional at Termecula Creek Inn Golf Course and punch its ticket up the coast to Morro Bay while College of the Canyons (696) and Moorpark (706) also qualified. Cuyamaca also advanced to last year's state tournament.
In addition to the eight teams, the top six individuals from each regional not on one of the advancing schools also qualified. In the south, that included Fullerton's Kaylee Jeon (152) who put nice rounds of 75 and 77 together to post a four-shot win over Kylie Sok (Irvine Valley), Georgia Shevitt (Moorpark) and Brittney Do (Saddleback). Besides Jeon, other individuals will be Sok, Do, Mackenzie Kelly (Mt. San Antonio), Michaela Klundt (Antelope Valley) and Victoria Owings (Palomar); the latter two advancing on tiebreakers.
Third-place north finisher Danie Kinder of West Hills Lemoore (153) leads the list of individuals from that regional and will be joined by Hannah Lovering and Monique Jimenez-Torres of Reedley, Hunter Hoag and Ciera Hoag of Sacramento City, and Sierra Smith of Napa Valley.
The 36-hole state championship will be hosted by Santa Barbara City College and played at beautiful Morro Bay Golf Course. Teams will play their first rounds on Sunday morning followed by a shotgun round on Monday.
(Courtesy Jerry Hannula, Saddleback College)