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Golf

Carolin Chang Repeats as State Champ; SBCC Team is Runner-up

The SBCC women’s golf team of coach Chuck Melendez finished second at the California Community College State Championships in Morro Bay. Click to view larger
The SBCC women’s golf team of coach Chuck Melendez finished second at the California Community College State Championships in Morro Bay. (Kim Schuck photo)

SBCC’s Carolin Chang fired a 3-under 69 on Monday to claim her second straight CCCAA State women’s golf title at Morro Bay Golf Course. The sophomore from Tainan, Taiwan, finished at 3-under 141 to tie playing partner Nao Brando (72-69) of Sierra.

In a scorecard playoff, Chang prevailed with a lower back-9 score of 3-under 34. She’s the first State individual champ from SBCC to shoot under par and is also the first repeat champion since Megumi Uchida of Desert in 1995-96.

“Carolin played excellent golf today,” said SBCC coach Chuck Melendez. “She came back from three down at the end.”

The loss was the first of the year for the defending state champion Vaqueros (99-1), who carried a six-shot lead into the final round. The Vaqueros were 14-0 in tournaments this year and had won 20 straight dating back to Oct. 19, 2015.

Chang tied the all-time low score by an individual champion. Jenny Lee of Canyons shot 3-under-par in 2007.

Sierra won the team title, thanks to a pair of 3-under 69s from Brando and Gurman Kaur that produced a state-championship record 294 that was 25 strokes lower than its first-round score. The Wolverines, from Rocklin, Calif., finished the 36-hole, two-day tournament at 613, beating the Vaqueros (312-309--621) by eight shots.

Sierra is just the second team from Northern California to claim the Community College women’s  title. Sacramento City won it in 2009.

Cuyamaca was third at 647 and Modesto took fourth at 657.

Vanessa Watkins shot 77 and tied for sixth at 153 for the Vaqueros. Danielle Picard (83-80) tied for 15th and Savanah Boss (81-83) tied for 17th.

“Sierra played extremely well and shot one of the best rounds of all time in a championship,” noted Melendez. “You have to tip your cap to them. We knew they would play better the second day because they did that in our tournament earlier on this course. I just wasn’t expecting that big of an improvement.

“We got great efforts from Danielle Picard (83-80), who shot lower than her first round, and Corina Garcia posted her season low of 84.”

Melendez says this might be the best team he’s ever had. And he’s guided the Vaqueros to four State titles in the previous 10 years.

“Overall, this may be the best group I’ve coached,” he concluded. “They’re wonderful kids and they’ll do great things in the future.”

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