Troy's Beth Lillie repeats as Freeway League champion
POMONA – Beth Lillie has had a problem ever since she started playing girls golf for Troy. She’d start out the season strong, but start petering out when the CIF-SS postseason tournaments began.
So even though she has become one of the best junior players in the country, a player who has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open and earned a Division 1 scholarship from Virginia, Lillie has yet to make it to the CIF State Championship.
“So my goal this year was to make sure that I would peak at the right time,” she said.
So far, so good.
The Troy senior posted a 4-under-par 68 at Mountain Meadows Golf Course in the final round of the Freeway League championship on Wednesday to win the 36-hole tournament for the second year in a row with a 7-under-par 137. She opened with a 3-under-par 69 on Monday at Whittier Narrows Golf Course.
“It feels good (to repeat). It was definitely my goal,” Lillie said. “I wasn’t playing great during the regular season, and I wanted to step it up for postseason play, and knew this would be a great place to start.”
Lillie holed five birdies on Wednesday and had a bogey-free round going until she landed in a bunker on No. 16. She flubbed her next shot.
She ended up in a green-side bunker once again on 18, and had an awkward lie, but she put her third shot 10 feet from the hole and drained her par putt.
“I told myself that was not going to happen again,” she said.
Troy coach Jerry Cowgill said he can never remember a time when Lillie has appeared to be more focused heading into the postseason.
“This shows that. I think she has been a little disappointed in her CIF performances. She thought she should have gone farther,” Cowgill said. “You know how good athletes do. They focus when they need to.”
Sonora sophomore Kristen Kim shot an even-par 72 at Mountain Meadows on Wednesday and finished with a 1-over-par 145 to tie for second with Sunny Hills junior Hannah Ko.
Isabel Sy (Troy), the first-round leader, Sherilyn Villanueva (Troy), Kaylee Sakoda (Troy) and Elizabeth Yoshitake (Sonora) rounded out the top seven.
The top seven players from the Freeway League Championship earned a tee time in the CIF-SS Northern Individual Regional on Monday at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard.
Villanueva posted a 2-over-par 74 on Wednesday even though she had to play half of her round without her driver after golf bag fell over. The Troy freshman carded a 4-over-par 148 and shared fourth place with Sy. Five Tory golfers finished in the top 10 in the tournament
“That is very exciting. I think this team is as good as it has ever been,” Lillie said. “I think we are really stacked this year.”
At Whittier Narrows Golf Course, par 72, and Mountain Meadows Golf Course, par 72
Top seven advance to the CIF-SS Northern Individual Regional
1. Beth Lillie (Troy) 137, 2t. Kristen Kim (Sonora) 145, 2t. Hannah Ko (Sunny Hills) 145, 4t. Isabel Sy (Troy) 148, 4t. Sherilyn Villanueva (Troy) 148, 6. Kaylee Sakoda (Troy) 154, 7. Elizabeth Yoshitake (Sonora) 160, 8. Isabella Camacho (Sonora) 164, 9. Kylie Kim (Sunny Hills) 167, 10. Chelsey Gutierrez (Troy) 167, 11. Kamryn Garcia (Troy) 169, 12. Madison Trejo (Sonora) 181.