Los Altos High senior Kelsey Kawaguchi said her round at last week’s Central Coast Section Girls Golf Championships “had a lot of ups and downs.” Fortunately for her, it ended on an upswing.
Kawaguchi capped her round at Rancho Cañada Golf Club by escaping a bunker to save par on the 18th hole, clinching the fourth and final individual spot in this week’s Northern California championships.
Although Kawaguchi notched five birdies Oct. 29 in Carmel, she ranked the par-5 18th as her best hole of the day.
“From (the bunker), I stuck it to about a foot and half from the pin and putted it in for par,” she said. “Without that up and down, I could have been in a playoff for the fourth spot (to qualify for NorCal) as an individual.”
Although Kawaguchi’s total score, a 1-over-par 73, was the sixth-best of the day, she advanced to NorCal because two of the players who finished ahead of her are members of teams that qualified for the regional. Rules state that the top four individuals not part of a team move on.
St. Francis is among the three teams that qualified for NorCal, scheduled Monday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) at Spring Creek Golf & Country Club in Ripon. The Lancers shot 395 to finish second to Palo Alto (391) at CCS.
Senior Nancy Xu paced St. Francis, shooting a 1-under-par 71 to tie Valley Christian’s Cristina Glebova for third.
“I had a really good day,” Xu said. “I did have a double bogey on 12, but I had three birdies toward the end of my round to get a good score.”
The birdies came on 13, 15 and 16, with Xu hitting what she ranked as her best shot of the day on the middle hole. The 160-yard shot landed 2 feet from the pin.
Teammate Valerie Wang finished in a four-way tie for seventh (74), while Jacqueline Sun tied three others for 31st (82) and fellow Lancers Caitlin Crosby and Bibilani Liu were among six golfers to tie for 36th (84).
The top three teams and top nine individuals at NorCal advance to the state championships, slated Nov. 20 at Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel.
“We definitely have a good shot,” Xu said. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed.”