Yin wins California Women's Am

CARMEL, Calif. (Nov. 7, 2010) -- All 12-year-old Arcadia resident Angel Yin wanted to do was get into some dry clothes.

But first, there was the matter of posing for pictures with the trophy.

Despite a lack of rain gear, an admirable comeback effort by her opponent and the first finals match to go extra holes, Yin became the second-youngest winner in the 44-year history of the California Women's Amateur Championship, holding on to beat Gold River resident Lauren Dobashi on the 37th hole Sunday at Quail Lodge Golf Club.

Monterey native Mina Harigae won her first CWAC title in 2001 at the age of 12 years, 10 days. Yin, a 6th grader at First Avenue School in Arcadia, turned 12 on October 3.

"It feels great. It's exciting to know my name is going to be on the trophy" said Yin, who pointed to her mother (and caddie) for the lack of rain gear. "She just forgot it."

While mom may have erred on that one, Yin can also be grateful. It was her mom who first got Yin into golf six years ago when a neighbor and family friend asked Yin's mom if Angel wanted to play golf with their son. Following a brief appearance in this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship, meanwhile, where Yin missed the cut, mom also thought it'd be a good idea to enter the CWAC.

"My mother just wanted me to get some experience with match play," Yin said.

Did she ever.

A day after ousting defending champion Casie Cathrea of Livermore 4 and 3 in the semis thanks to an ace and five birdies, Yin began the grind to the top by jumping out to a commanding 5-up lead over Dobashi in the morning.

Dobashi, a 22-year-old recent U.C. Davis grad who's now an assistant for the Aggies' women's golf team, never wavered.

After sinking a 12-foot putt on the 25th hole (No. 7) to cut the deficit to 3-up, Dobashi three holes later made it 2-up, winning par to bogey.

On No.11, the lead became 1-up when Daboshi chipped to two feet and Yin missed her short par putt.

Two holes and a wayward Yin drive later that led to a bogey, and the match was back to all-square.

"Once it got back to even, I started thinking I had a chance again," said Dobashi, who would hit every fairway on the back-nine. "It was like someone hit a reset button."

"I thought it was maybe slipping away," Yin said. "She was playing really well."

Still at all-square, Yin again looked to take control after draining an 18-foot putt for birdie on the 16th.

After halving No. 17, Yin hit her drive right into the woods on No. 18, leading her to a drop and another lost hole.

On No. 1, the first hold of sudden death, both players missed the green in regulation. Yin was able to chip to within five feet and make the putt, while Dobashi's chip ran eight feet by the cup, leading to a bogey.

"Angel's a good player," said Dobashi, who is thinking of turning pro to make a run at joining the 2012 Ladies European Tour. "I just kept telling myself to play my game and not get greedy. It was a lot of fun."

Yin had a grand time too. But a hot shower sounded better.

"I was so cold. On the back-nine, I was starting to get stiff," Yin said. "I just want to change clothes."

The Helen Lengfeld Flight finale also went to extra holes, as Tracy Freeman of Woodland defeated Emily Smith of Rancho Murrieta on the 19th hole.

ABOUT THE California Women's Amateur

The California Women’s Amateur Championship was founded in 1967 and played at Pebble Beach Golf Links until 1987 when the Championship was invited to Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, where the tournament remains to this day.

36-hole stroke play qualifying round, 18 holes each day, to determine 32 players for match play. Prizes will be awarded to the Champion, Runner-up, Semifinalists, Quarterfinalists and the 36-hole Low Gross Medalist from qualifying rounds.

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