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MATT MASIN , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Alyaa Abdulghanny of Corona Del Mar was selected as the girls golfer of the year for 2015.

Girls golfer of the year: Alyaa Abdulghany, Corona del Mar

STAFF WRITER

Alyaa Abdulghany is certain that some day someone will eclipse the course record she set last month at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

But no matter how low the score, no one will ever be able to steal the Corona del Mar junior’s place in girls golf history.

The CIF has held a girls state championship tournament off and on since 1977, and until this fall a winner hadn’t come from Orange County.

In her first appearance in the prestigious tournament, Abdulghany posted a 2-under-par 69 to give her a two-stroke victory at the state championship, making her the Register’s girls golfer of the year.

Related:

All-County girls golf team: First team

All-County girls golf: Second team

Girls golf coach of the year: Mike Starkweather, Corona del Mar

Her round was the lowest posted by a woman at Poppy Hills, surpassing the old record by three strokes. Abdulghany’s 69 equaled the second-lowest score carded in the state tournament, which has been held 18 times.

She was the only girls this year to finish under par at Poppy Hills.

To commemorate her historic score, she signed a scorecard and pin flag which will be framed and hung in the Northern California Golf Association offices at Pebble Beach.

“It is pretty cool, honestly, to be the first girl from Orange County to win it,” said Abdulghany, who is committed to USC. “I am honored and humbled.”

What makes Abdulghany’s season even more impressive was her consistency. Starting with her triumph in the Pacific Coast League championships in October, five of her six postseason rounds ended in the 60s, giving her a 69.14 scoring average and a cumulative score of 17 under par.

Her worst performance during that span was an even-par 71 at Goose Creek Golf Club to claim sixth place in the WSCGA Southern State Regional. It was the only time she did not finish in the top three during the postseason.

In addition to winning state, she finished third at the CIF-SS Individual Championship, second at the CIF-SS Southern Individual Regional and earned medalist honors at the CIF-SS Southern Team Regional in which she helped the Sea Kings finish second.

“To see her consistency off the tee, it is unbelievably great,” Corona del Mar coach Mike Starkweather said. “It is great to see the work that she has put in pay off for her.”

Abdulghany is eighth in the Golfweek junior girls national Sagarin rankings, and she traveled to Canada and Germany to represent the U.S. in tournaments.

She was one of the three girls chosen by the USGA to play for the United States at the World Junior Girls Championship at the Marshes Golf Club in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. She tied for 12th.

The following week, she traveled to the Sporting Club Berlin and tied for second in the Faldo Series Grand Final, hosted by Sir Nick Faldo, a three-time Masters champion.

“The thing I am proud of the most this year is my progression from freshman year and sophomore year,” she said. “I have gotten a lot better. My game has improved, and I am more consistent. Even if wouldn’t have won state, I would have still been happy.”

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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