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MATT MASIN , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Rosary's Caroline Cantlay enters her senior season with momentum from strong showings during the spring and summer. Last week, she placed second in the Rosary Shotgun, posting a 2-over-par 37 at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills.

Rosary's Cantlay charges into season with high expectations

STAFF WRITER

Almost one year has passed, but two strokes last fall at Jurupa Valley’s Goose Creek Golf Club still haunt Rosary senior Caroline Cantlay. They likely cost her a chance to play in the CIF State Girls Golf Championship

With two holes to go in the WSCGA Southern State Regional, she was in position to earn a spot in the prestigious tournament to be played at Poppy Hills.

But then her 2-foot par putt rolled past the hole. On the next hole, her tee shot landed in a fairway bunker. Suddenly, her building excitement was replaced by crushing disappointment.

In the end, she carded a 4-over-par 75 at Goose Creek. It took a 73 to make the cut.

Now, a new season has started, and Cantlay is down to her last chance to make it to state. She said has “given me a big motivation” to improve this season.

“I am excited to go out and play this year and put that in the past and play better this year,” she said. “I just have to put the rounds together. I know I am capable of doing it.”

Her results in recent months prove as much. In April, she tied for 10th in the AJGA Junior at Carlton Oaks Country Club, posting two rounds in the 70s at the tournament in Santee.

She has also made the cut in all four of the Toyota Tour Cup tournaments she has played, tallying three top-10 finishes during that span with a 78.0 scoring average.

Last week, she placed second in the Rosary Shotgun, posting a 2-over-par 37 at Western Hills Country Club in Chino Hills.

Those were impressive performances, but she seemed to be most proud of finally beating her brother Nick, a couple of weeks ago at Mission Hills Country Club. She was even par. Nick, who plays for Long Beach State, was 2-over-par.

She has another brother, Patrick, who was a CIF State Champion for Servite and is now a PGA Tour member.

“My dad is always telling me that Patrick wasn’t that far ahead of where you are now, and if you just work a little harder you can get to where he is,” she said. “I use that as a motivation and a goal to get better and be as good as him. I just have to keep getting better.”

Cantlay is hoping the Royals can contend this season for the league title in the Trinity League, which has been dominated by Santa Margarita and Mater Dei.

“I think we have a chance at being pretty good if we can put the scores together,” Cantlay said.

At the Rosary Shotgun, Cantlay teamed with Chayse Gomez to help the Royals finish second. Gomez carded an even-par 35, making Rosary the only team in the field to have two players break 40.

“I am excited about this year,” Cantlay said. “I think this is the best that we are going to be since I have been here. It should be a good year.”

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Contact the writer: ddottore@scng.com


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