MORRO BAY - The field is set for this weekend’s California Community College Athletic Association women’s golf state championship tournament which will be held on the Morro Bay Golf Course for the fifth consecutive year.
The two-day, 36-hole event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and Monday and will feature a field of 59 of the top community college women golfers in the state this year. Eight teams will be vying for the team title, including teams representing the colleges which have won the past five state titles. The field also features the return of seven sophomore golfers who finished among the top 24 individual competitors in last year’s state championship event.
Defending state champion Modesto Junior College returns to defend its title. The Pirates captured their first golf title in school history last season and have reloaded the roster to qualify for the state tournament this season. Only Brianna Youngman remains on the Pirate roster from a year ago. Modesto finished second at the CCCAA North Regional this past weekend, finishing 11 strokes behind Sierra College (Rocklin, CA) at the Wildhorse Golf Club in Davis. Sierra, the 2016 CCCAA state champion, is led by 2016 all-state performer Gurman Kaur who helped the Wolverines to the state title but sat out last year. Gurman posted an 8-under-par 138 (69-69) at this year’s regional at Wildhorse to earn medalist honors by 10 strokes over her nearest competitor. Reedley and Fresno City colleges finished third and fourth at the northern regional to qualify for this year’s state tournament. Those are the only two programs participating at this year’s state championship without a women’s golf title to their credit.
Santa Barbara City College has four previous state titles to its credit, including titles in 2013 and 2015. The Vaqueros placed third in last weekend’s CCCAA South Regional played at the Alisal Guest Ranch in Solvang. Stephanie Farouze and Lauren Calvin both return for a second shot at the state title after helping the Vaqueros to a third-place team finish a year ago.
College of the Canyons ran away with the South Regional last weekend, posting a team score of 603. Jessie Lin was the individual medalist of the event with a 6-under-par 140 (69-71) while teammate Karoka Koda was the individual runner-up at 1-under-par 145 (72-73). Canyons finished seventh at last year’s state championship but is the favorite to capture this year’s title. JoJo Roecker and Gina Chung return for a second year with the Cougars.
College of the Desert finished second at the regional event, 44 strokes behind Canyons. Saddleback College (Mission Viejo, CA) finished fourth at the regional to qualify for this year’s event.
Individually, Saddleback sophomore Brittney Do is the top returner from a year ago. Do posted a two-day score of 147 at last year’s state championship to finish fourth overall and earn all-state honors. Her 1-under-par 71 on the first day was one of only five scores posted under par. Canyons’ Roecker placed ninth overall a year ago with a score of 153 (77-76) while Fullerton College’s Eunsoo Jeon was 11th overall last year with a 157 (78-79). Do was the Orange Empire Conference player of the year in 2017, averaging 77.1 strokes per round both in 2017 and 2018. Jeon was the OEC Player of the Year this year after averaging 73.9 strokes per round.
Other top returners to the state tournament are Moorpark College sophomore Georgia Shevitt and Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA) sophomore Mackenzie Kelly. Shevitt finished 18th overall a year ago with a score of 160 (82-78) while Kelly was 19th with a score of 161 (80-81). Kaleigh Irey of Taft College also gets another shot at an individual title after finishing 21st overall last year with a 162 (76-86). Santa Barbara’s Farouze was 24th overall last year with a 163 (82-81).
The CCCAA state championship will feature an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start on both Sunday and Monday, with the awards ceremony taking place around 2:00 p.m. in the golf course clubhouse. Admission is free and spectators will be allowed to walk the course but must remain on the cart paths or in the rough. Spectators are not allowed to walk with the competitors or talk with the competitors during the round.
(Jerry Hannula, Saddleback College Athletics)