2015 team champs Mira Costa (NCGA photo)
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — It was a Southern California sweep at Tuesday’s CIF High School Girls’ State Championship at par-71 Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, as Alyaa Abdulghany took the individual title and Mira Costa won its first team crown.
A junior at Corona del Mar High in Newport Beach, Abdulghany posted a women’s course record 2-under 69 to win her first state title by two strokes over co-runner-ups Calista Reyes of Rancho Bernardo and Angela Liu of Lynbrook. The previous low competitive women’s score on the new Poppy Hills (playing at least 5,800 yards) was a 72, shot by Camille Orito at this year’s NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship.
“It was a good day. I’m happy,” said Abdulghany, who reached the semifinals of this year’s inaugural U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship with partner Ellen Takada before the two fell to eventual champions Mika Liu and Rinko Mitsunaga.
Abdulghany was flawless on the front-nine, posting a bogey-free 4-under 32 with four birdies. On the par-5 4th, she sank a 25-foot birdie putt. Each of her other three birdie putts on the opening nine came from within four feet of the cup.
Her only stumbling blocks later in the day were a pair of bogeys on par-3 11th and par-4 16th. Her bogey on the 11th was her first three-putt of the day. Abdulghany sealed the win by closing out with pars on the 17th and 18th.
“I was trying to stick my approach shots close. I was feeling it with my irons,” Abdulghany said.
Reyes made a charge on the back-nine with birdies on the 11th and 13th to get back to even par, but finished with five straight pars. Liu got to 1-under with a birdie on No.15, but bogeyed the 16th and closed out with two pars.
Defending champion Sabrina Iqbal of Pioneer High in San Jose had a 78 to finish T-19. Iqbal is the two-time defending Junior Tour of Northern California Girls’ Player of the Year.
While everyone was chasing Abdulghany, in the team championship Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach did what its done all season–came through when it counted.
The Mustangs, who won the Southern California title, trailed rival Walnut late by two strokes. That changed when Marni Murez got up-and-down from a greenside bunker on 18 for birdie and a 72. Coming in after Murez was senior star Andrea Lee, who posted a 73 to give Mira Costa a tight three-shot win over Walnut.
Mira Costa, who also got a 75 from Ashley Kim, finished at 391. Walnut, who was led by a 76 by Annabelle Chang, shot 394.
“This team is just something else,” said Mira Costa head coach Tom Cox. “This is how it’s been all season. The girls are tenacious. It was tense.”
At the Southern California Championships, the Mustangs beat Walnut by eight strokes.
“We knew Walnut was going to make it close. They’re a great team,” Cox said. “Once Marni (Murez) came in, we knew we had Andrea (Lee) still out there so we were confident.”
Lee, who’s headed to Stanford in the fall of 2016, entered the championship at No.24 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. At the 2013 State Championship at Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel Valley, she’d win with a 67.
The shot of the day came from Jacqueline Sun of St. Francis of Mountain View, who aced the 2nd hole.