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Matsuoka continues sizzling start for CdM

STAFF WRITER

COSTA MESA - Amy Matsuoka has worked for hours on the range to improve the accuracy of her short-iron approach shots. It was time well spent.

These days, her aim couldn’t be much better, as the senior has medaled or co-medaled in all six matches the No. 5 Corona del Mar girls golf team has played this season.

On Thursday, she posted a 1-under-par 34 on the front nine at Newport Beach Country Club to lead the Sea Kings to a 190-197 victory against No. 1 Beckman in a Pacific Coast League match.

What makes her streak even more impressive is that Matsuoka hasn’t finished over par yet this season. Through those six matches her cumulative score is 16-under.

“I have been getting them (her approach shots) really close, and just one-putting or two-putting,” said Matsuoka, who is returning to the school’s team after taking off her junior year. “I have been working on everything, though, like my drives and hitting them farther and my putting. But (the six medals) are because of my short game.”

Matsuoka opened Thursday’s match with a birdie on the reconfigured 308-yard par-4 No. 1. The hole has a new tee box and extra bunker to accomodate the Champions Tour, which will host the Toshiba Classic on Oct. 30-Nov. 1. She followed that birdie with seven consecutive pars.

Mike Starkweather has been coaching Corona del Mar’s girls golf team for 20 years, and he said he can’t remember a player getting off this kind of a start.

“She has come out of the box like a rocketship,” Starkweather said. “She has worked really hard to get here, and she came in wanting it.”

All but one of CdM’s five scoring players broke 40. Alyaa Abdulghany and Celine Niu posted a 36 while Gabby Finear added a 38. Cameron Lee led Beckman with a 37.

Contact the writer: ddottore@ocregister.com


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