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Park finally gets a Pacific Coast League championship
RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA – She is one of the top junior golfers in the AJGA, a player who has teed off at some of the most prestigious tournaments in the nation.
So Kaitlin Park should be able handle playing in the final round of the Pacific Coast League championship without to much trouble, right?
Well, maybe not.
“There was a lot of pressure on me,” she said.
The Beckman senior was down to her last chance to win the PCL title, and she really had to finish first this year. Park had already planned where she was going to put the accomplishment in her bio when she starts to play golf for Northwestern next year.
“To think that this was it … that I never got to win it,” Park said. “That is why I am so happy.”
Park birdied two holes on Tuesday at Tijeras Creek Golf Club and carded an even-par 72 to finish the 36-hole tournament with a 2-under-par 142. That put her four shots clear of second-place Euna Pak. The Northwood sophomore posted a final-round 71 which made her the only player on Tuesday to come in under par.
Both Park and Pak have secured a spot in the CIF-SS Individual Southern Regional which will be played at Recreation Park in Long Beach on Oct. 31.
Park led both rounds of the tournament, moving to the top of the leader board on Monday after shooting a 2-under par 70.
Even though she said the pin placements on Tuesday were a bit tricky, and she had a hard time figuring out the greens on both days, she still managed to hole eight birdies during the tournament.
She finally got the title that had so far eluded during her career at Beckman, but Park still wasn’t all that happy. She had a lot of trouble putting, she said, and she made more mistakes than she would have liked.
“I know if get in slumps and have some bad holes and start to distrust my swing that will be the end. So matter what I do before, I leave it there and move to the next hole. I am just trying my best on every hole,” Park said. “I think it (her confidence) is just building up, and I want to keep it where it is.”
Northwood’s Tracey Kim, who won this tournament last year, finished third with a 147 followed by Irvine’s Amy Lee (152) and University’s Elaine Tse (156). They too will play in the individual regional as the top nine players from the PCL tournament advanced.
Grace Park (University), Rachel Kim (Northwood), Kristin Lee (University) and Genie Short (Woodbridge) also qualified.