CHINO – Led by the dominant play of sophomore Nicole Whipple, Saddleback College punched its ticket back to the state championships after topping the field at the Southern California Regionals Women’s Golf Finals, hosted by Fullerton College, on Sunday and Monday at El Prado Golf Club.
At the Northern California Regional at Turlock Golf & Country Club, defending state champion Modesto posted a 10-shot victory over Reedley College with Napa Valley and Sierra College also joining the eight-team state championship field on Sunday and Monday at Morro Bay Golf Course. Reedley's Maddie Reed earned medalist honors with a 4-over 150, posting a two-shot win.
It was a total contrast in conditions from Day 1 to Day 2 for the field in Southern California. On Sunday, under PERFECT conditions for golf, Whipple led the way with an eye-popping 4-under-par 68 and followed that up on a wet and cold Monday with an even-par 72, shooting a two-round total of 4-under, 144.
The Bobcats, who trailed by one shot to fellow Orange Empire Conference rival, Fullerton College (316-317), handled the ragged conditions on Monday like the champions they are and shot a team score of 320 for a two-day total of 637. The host Hornets, stayed right with the Bobcats, but finished second overall with a score of 316-328-644, followed by third-place College of the Canyons (338-318-656) and Bakersfield (341-348-689). Those four teams will take the trip up to Morro Bay for the California Community College Athletic Association Women’s Golf State Championships, which kicks off on Sunday and ends Monday in Morro Bay
Fullerton’s Ylianna Fernandez earned the silver medal for her two-day performance, carding a 74 on Sunday and following that up with a 2-under 70 for a 144.
Canyons’ Mitoko Shimoji finished third overall with a 151 (80-71), while Hornet standout Cathilyn Lee equaled Shimoji with a 151 (73-78).
Joining those four teams are nine individual players, including Orange Coast College’s Emma Ashcraft (80-74-154) and OCC teammate Meah Collins (79-75-154), Cuyamaca’s Esabella Barba (77-80-157), Mt. SAC’s Kayla Loera (74-84-158), Santa Barbara’s Carlee Stevens (80-79-159), Desert’s Demi Preese (79-86-165), Antelope Valley’s Madison Shafer (85-81-166), Kaitlyn Loera from Mt. San Antonio (81-88-169) and Joey Fletcher from Santa Barbara (87-84-171). Desert’s Jensen Kelly (86-85-171) and Cuyamaca’s Tara Bandi (85-86-171) are alternates.
(Tony Altobelli, Orange Coast College)