Sherpa fires 1-under 70; Vaqueros take third in South Coast Classic

Pratima Sherpa carded a 1-under 70 on Monday, leading SBCC to third place in the South Coast Classic and second in WSC No. 1 at Buenaventura Golf Course in Ventura.

Sherpa, a freshman from Kathmandu, Nepal, shaved 11 strokes off her first-round score to tie for fourth at 151. Alexa Bleth took 10th with two rounds of 82 and freshman left-hander Cally Casterline showed a 12-stroke improvement, shooting in the 70s for the first time with a 78 that earned her 15th place in the South Coast tourney and fifth in the WSC event.

Canyons cruised to victory with a final-round 297 for a 603 total that was 39 shots better than College of the Desert (334-308–642). Canyons and Desert finished 1-2 in last year’s CCCAA State Finals at Morro Bay GC.

SBCC, which has finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the state the last four years, improved its score by 19 strokes and shot 314. The Vaqueros (333-314) finished in third, five strokes behind Desert in the eight-team season-opening tourney.

Pratima Sherpa

Pratima Sherpa of SBCC shaved 11 strokes off her first-round score at the South Coast Classic in Ventura, (Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Most scores were lower on Monday as Buenaventura is an easier course than Olivas Links, where Sunday’s first round was played. Olivas Links is nearly 6,100 yards with a course rating of 77.0 while Buenaventura is 5,412 yards with a rating of 72.3.

Haruka Koda of Canyons was the medalist with rounds of 72 and 68 that produced a 3-under 140. She beat her teammate Paige Heuer (71-77) by eight shots. Jessie Lin of Canyons was third at 149 and Sherpa (81-70) tied for fourth with Lilyanna Rodriguez of Desert at 151.

“Yesterday was a feeling-out process for most of our players and today was an easier layout,” said 20th-year SBCC coach Chuck Melendez. “Pratima played great, I was so happy for her. We still have a lot of room for improvement and this is a great group that I think will get better and better as the year goes on.”

Paris White made her season debut for Santa Barbara after missing the first round with an illness. She played through the pain on Monday and shot 84.

WSC No. 1 was also held on Monday and Canyons recorded an impressive 297 (74.3 avg.) to beat the Vaqueros (314) by 17 strokes. Antelope Valley was a distant third at 414.

Koda was the WSC medalist with her 3-under 68. Sherpa tied Lin of Canyons for second at 1-under 70. Casterline (78) was fifth and Bleth (82) tied for sixth.

The Vaqueros will play in the Desert Classic on Friday and Saturday at Tahquitz Creek in Palm Springs.
South Coast Classic
Round 1 – Sunday at par-72 Olivas Links GC
Round 2 – Monday at par-71 Buenaventura GC
Final Scores
 Team — 1, Canyons 306-297–603. 2, Desert 334-308–642. 3, SBCC 333–314–647. 4, Mt. SAC 342-322–664. 5, Palomar 408-375–783. 6, Antelope Valley 417-414–831. 7, Bakersfield 485-451–936. 8, Citrus 484-454–938. 9, Moorpark, no score.
 Medalist — 1, Haruka Koda, Canyons, 72-68–140. 2, Paige Heuer, Canyons, 71-77–148. 3, Jessie Lin, Canyons, 79-70–149. 4 (tie), Pratima Sherpa, SBCC, 81-70–151; Lilyanna Rodriguez, Desert, 76-75–151. 6, Precious Saelee, Mt. SAC, 82-71–153. 7, Kathy Henderson, Palomar, 77-80–157. 8, Morgan Preece, Desert, 86-76–162.
 SBCC scores — 4 (tie), Pratima Sherpa 81-70–151. 10 (tie), Alexa Bleth 82-82–164. 15, Cally Casterline 90-78–168. Marie Naud 94-87–181, Honey Lawrie 98-93—191, Melanie Smith 80-WD, Paris White DNP-84.
 SBCC overall record – 11-3.

WSC No. 1
At par-71 Buenaventura GC
 Team — 1, Canyons 297. 2, SBCC 314. 3, AVC 414. 4, Bakersfield 451. 5, Citrus 454. 6, Moorpark, no score.
 Medalist — 1, Haruka Koda, Canyons, 68. 2 (tie), Pratima Sherpa, SBCC, 70; Jessie Lin, Canyons, 70. 4, Paige Heuer, Canyons, 77. 5, Cally Casterline, SBCC, 78.
 SBCC scores — 2 (tie), Sherpa 70. 5, Casterline 78. 6 (tie), Bleth 82. 8, Paris White 84. Marie Naud 87, Honey Lawrie 93.
 WSC standings — 1, Canyons 5-0. 2, SBCC 4-1. 3, AVC 3-2. 4, Bakersfield 2-3. 5, Citrus 1-4. 6, Moorpark 0-5.