June 26-29 | Monterey Peninsula CC
June 29, 2017
When she’s feeling nervous on the course, 16-year-old Rancho Cucamonga resident Jade Siphomsay likes to play music in her head to relax.
Thursday on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Siphomsay’s playlist consisted of Lorde’s ‘Liability’ and ‘Perfect Places.’
The latter was appropriate, as that’s where Siphomsay was following a 1-up win over Jasmine Chen in the finals of the annual California Junior Girls’ State Championship. In her previous three years of competing in the event, the No.21 seeded Siphomsay had never gotten past the quarterfinals.
“It just feels so humbling. I’m grateful to just be out here playing on such a beautiful course,” said Siphomsay, a senior at Los Osos High. “Once I got through the quarterfinals this year, I told myself that the sky’s the limit.”
Considering the company she joins as a champion, there may be no limit as to what lies ahead, either. Former winners of the championship include former world No.1 amateur Hannah O’Sullivan and LPGA members Christina Kim and Dorothy Delasin.
“Having my name with them is validating and boosts my confidence,” Siphomsay said. “Winning this proves to myself that I can be a great player.”
Coming off a tight 19th hole win over Belinda Hu in the semifinals, Siphomsay was again tested in the final by 13-year-old Junior Tour of Northern California members Jasmine Chen. Chen, who was looking to become the second-youngest champion (O’Sullivan won in 2010 at age 12) in the event’s history, put the pressure on fast too, jumping to a 2-up lead through just the third hole.
It wasn’t new territory though. In her semifinals win over Hu, she trailed by three through five holes. Helping her along again was Lorde.
“I just tried to stay calm. Thinking of the music helps me,” Siphomsay said. “It distracts me from the pressure.”
With three straight wins on holes No.4 through No.6, Siphomsay was suddenly 1-up. She’d go on to hold at least a 2-up lead through the next nine holes. On the par-5 16th, Chen was able to slice the lead down to 1-up after knocking her pitch shot approach to within 2 feet of the flagstick.
But Siphomsay didn’t give in. The duo would halve the next two holes, sealiing the win. Still down a hole on 18 but with a chance to keep the match alive, the No.10 seeded Chen pushed her drive right into the trees. Her ball ended up ricocheting luckily into the fairway bunker, but it would still lead to a bogey.
“I still had a good week,” said Chen, who’ll enter the 8th grade this fall. “I learned how to be more consistent and determined.”
It was also a special week for Siphomsay, who started playing golf at the age of 2,
“I was still nervous when we were on the 18th green,” Siphomsay said. “Belinda and Jasmine are such great players. It’s such a great feeling to win.”
In the Helen Lengfeld Flight, No.1 seed Katie Elizabeth Murphy defeated runner-up and No.11 Madison Daniel of Bakersfield, 5 and 4.
The 18-hole finals match of this week’s annual California Junior Girls’ State Championship on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club will be a NorCal vs. SoCal affair.
No.10 seed Jasmine Chen of Pleasanton will meet No.21 Jade Siphomsay of Rancho Cucamonga after the two advanced thru Thursday morning’s quarterfinals.
Chen, a 13-year-old Youth on Course East Bay Clubhouse and Junior Tour of Northern California member, punched her ticket to the finals via an impressive 5 and 4 win over 2015 champion Simar Singh of Los Altos. Over the 14 holes of the match, Chen went 2-under.
Thanks in part to a pair of birdies on the front-nine (holes No.1 and No.6), Chen built a 3-up lead through just the first six holes. Singh, who a day earler had come back from a three-hole deficit, managed to cut the lead to 2-up with a par win on the 7th, but Chen responded with a par win on No.10 and a birdie win on the 11th to make it 4-up. Chen sealed the match with a birdie on the par-3 14th.
While Chen was cruising, Simphomsay was in a see-saw match with No.9 Belinda Hu. Coming off a big 6 and 5 quarterfinals victory, Hu, who is headed to Harvard this fall, kept the pedal to the metal by putting Simphomsay in a three-hole deficit through just the first five holes.
Siphomsay, however, didn’t blink. Following a par win on the 6th that dropped it to 2-up, Siphsomsay went on to birdie the 10th and 12th holes to bring things back to all-square. Another birdie four holes later on the 16th and she took a 1-up lead.
Hu was able to tie things up again with a clutch par win on the 18th, but Siphomsay birdied the 19th hole (No.1) for the win.
In the Helen Lengfeld Flight, the finals match will be No.1 seed Katie Elizabeth Murphy vs. No.11 Madison Daniel of Bakersfield.
June 28, 2017
Having recently qualified for this year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur, San Ramon’s Belinda Hu has been on somewhat of a roll.
Hu continued her recent strong play in Wednesday’s quarterfinals of this week’s annual California Junior Girls’ State Championship, earning a spot in the semifinals with a convincing 6 and 5 victory over Emily Sumner.
Trailing by a hole early on, Hu went on a serious charge. From hole No.6 through No.11, the Harvard freshman-to-be blitzed Sumner by going 4-under. In the 13 holes of her match vs. Sumner, Hu went 3-under.
Hu, the No.9 seed, will next face No. 21 seed Jade Siphomsay of Rancho Cucamonga. Siphomsay earned her spot in the semis via a 2-up win over No.29 Priya Bakshi.
In that match, Siphomsay, who already had a 1-up lead, bumped her cushion to 3-up with consecutive wins on the 10th and 11th holes. She’d soon after make it 4-up with another win on No.13. Bakshi didn’t give in, coming back with wins on the 14th, 16th and 17th holes to cut the deficit to 1-up. Siphomsay closed the match out with a win on No.18.
In Friday’s other semifinals match, it’ll be No. 14 Simar Singh of Los Altos going against No.10 Jasmine Chen of Pleasanton
Singh, who won the event in 2015, had the comeback of the afternoon. Through just the first three holes, her opponent Maya Pugatch built a comfy 3-up lead. The tide turned, however, when Singh ran off three straight wins herself from holes No.7 through No. 9 to bring it back to all-square. Pugatch immediately re-grabbed the lead with a par win on No.10, but Singh again bounced back–winning holes No.11 through No.13 to take a 2-up lead. Singh went on to win holes No.15 and No.16 to seal the victory.
Chen moved on with a tight 2 and 1 win over Megan Yang. Holding a 1-up lead, Chen won with a par on the 15th to go 2-up. The two went on to halve the 16th and 17th.
Friday’s semifinals will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the 18-hole final at 1 p.m.
Round of 16
The brackets continued to get busted.
No.1 seed Sienna Lyford, a senior at Granite Bay High, was the latest top seed to topple at this week’s annual California Junior Girls’ State Championship at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, falling 4 and 3 to No.16 Emily Sumner in Wednesday morning’s Round of 16.
Headed to Santa Clara University this fall, Sumner took a quick 2-up lead with a birdie on the opening par-5 1st and a par on No.3. Later, with another par win on the 11th, the lead mushroomed to 3-up. Lyford got one hole back with a birdie on the 13th, but Sumner came right back with a par win on the 14th. A Lyford bogey on the 15th sealed the win for Sumner.
Also falling in the Round of 16 was No.3 seed Charlotte Hillary. Hillary, of Colorado, lost 2 and 1 to 2015 champion Simar Singh of Los Altos. Still all-square through 10 holes, SIngh took a 1-up lead with a birdie on the 11th. The lead went to 2-up on the 13th when Hillary made bogey to Singh’s par. From there, the two halved the remaining four holes of the match.
The highest seed remaining after the Round of 16 was No.6 Maya Pugatch of San Jose. But Pugatch had to dig deep to stay alive. Facing No. 22 seed Janelle Jin, Pugatch looked to be in dire straits following a loss on the 12th hole that gave Jin a 3-up lead.
Pugatch didn’t collapse, however, winning holes No.13 and No.14 to cut the deficit to 1-up. On the 15th, Jin again took a 2-up lead via a winning par on the 15th. Again though, Pugatch responded, winning the next three holes in succession to claim a 1-up win.
In Wednesday afternoon’s quarterfinals, Pugatch will play Singh. Another quarterfinals match was No.21 Jade Simphomsay vs. No.29 Priya Bakshi. Siphomsay eliminated No.5 seed Maddie Jun, 4 and 3, in the Round of 16.
June 27, 2017
No.1 seed Sienna Lyford made it through day one of match play at the annual California Junior Girls’ State Championship on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Other top seeds weren’t as fortunate.
Lyford, a senior at Granite Bay High, took care of business in Tuesday’s opening Round of 32, defeating No.32 Steffi Lin of San Ramon, 3 and 2. Lyford birdied the opening par-5 1st hole and kept rolling, eventually building a 3-up lead with a par on No.11.
Also moving on was No.3 seed Charlotte Hillary of Colorado. Hillary knocked out Janica Ha of San Ramon, 5 and 3.
Top seeds getting eliminated were No.2 Kaleiya Romero of San Jose and No.4 Andrea Gomez of Santa Clara. Despite taking an early 1-up lead through three holes, Romero lost 4 and 3 to No.31 Danielle Suh. Suh Following No.3, Suh won five of the next eight holes with pars. The San Ramon resident further put the squeeze on Romero with a birdie on the par-3 14th.
Gomez also ran into a buzzsaw in No.29 Priya Bakshi. Bakshi went 2-under through 14 holes en route to a commanding 5 and 4 win.
No.5 Maddie Jun of Mountain View and No.6 Maya Pugatch of San Jose moved on via 2-up and 3 and 2 wins, respectively.
Lyford will next take on No.16 Emily Sumner in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Hillary will face No. 14 Simar Singh, who won the title in 2015.
June 26, 2017
Roseville’s Sienna Lyford will be the No.1 seed when match play begins at this week’s annual California Junior Girls’ State Championship.
A senior at Granite Bay High, Lyford fired a medalist-earning 5-under 68 in Monday’s stroke play qualifying round on the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. She was the only player to break par on the course, which is part of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am rotation.
Four players–Kaleiya Romero of San Jose, Mountain View’s Maddie Jun, Santa Clara’s Andrea Gomez and Colorado’s Charlotte Hillary–all finished T-2 with rounds of 73.
Tuesday’s action will consist of the Round of 32 of match play. Wednesday’s play will see the Round of 16 and quarterfinals. On Thursday both the semifinals and 18-hole final will be held.
Former winners of the event include LPGA member Christina Kim (2000) and Dorothy Delasin (1998).