CdM's Abdulghany, Foothill's Chou among top finishers at CIF-SS individual tournament


CHINO HILLS – At the time, it looked like an impossibly long putt, 50 feet of uphill uncertainty between her and the hole on the 17th green at Western Hills Country Club.

It turned out to be the shot that gave Corona del Mar’s Alyaa Abdulghany another trophy at the CIF-SS Individual Championship tournament.

Despite all the spike marks in the green, Abdulghany’s ball hipped and hopped on a straight line and went right into the cup. The result was a birdie which helped her card a 1-under-par 69 and finish third in Thursday’s tournament.

Foothill’s Madie Chou also posted a 69, which included three birdies and two bogeys, but she shot a 35 on the back nine while Abdulghany’s posted a 33, and that broke the tie in favor of Abdulghany. Chou finished fourth.

“I didn’t play that well today,” said Abdulghany, who won the tournament last fall. “My shots weren’t accurate today, and the speed on my putting was off. I know I can do better.”

Chou was the leader in the clubhouse until Alison Chang of Walnut came in with a 67, which was later eclipsed by the tournament-winning 66 posted by Palm Desert’s Ji Yoon Jang.

Chou said she was satisfied with being among the players to advance to the WSCGA Southern State Regional next week in Mira Loma. Chou, a senior, has never made it past the WSCGA event.

“I am happy with the 69,” she said. “Moving on means a lot because I haven’t made it to state, and that was one of my main goals coming into high school. And I have one last chance to do it, so I am taking it seriously for sure.”

Dana Hills junior Joan Soewondo (73) finished eighth, one shot behind Corona del Mar senior Amy Matsuoka (72), who placed seventh.

Soewondo could have finished higher had it not been for the trees on the par-4 18th. She hit one with her approach, knocking the ball out of bounds. Her next shot hit a tree branch, dropping the ball just short of the green.

She ended up taking a quadruple bogey.

“This course is hard. There are trees everywhere, and it’s long,” Soewondo said. “For sure, I am happy with the 73.”

Twelve teams were also in the field Thursday, trying to become one of the four to qualify for the WSCGA tournament. None of the three representing Orange County advanced.

Corona del Mar and University tied for fifth with a 404 and Santa Margarita finished 11th after shooting a 427. Walnut posted the low score, carding a 366.

“Considering where we were at the beginning of the season, this is great,” Corona del Mar coach Mike Starkweather said. “The girls have busted their butts, taking lessons and working real hard. They have come a long way.”

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