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Trio of girls' golfers moving on in CIF competition

Golf: Burbank's Irene Maemura cards one-under-par 71 at CIF Southern Section Northern Individual in Oxnard. Gao and Chia also make the cut.

October 28, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

OXNARD — In preparation for the first round of the CIF individual playoffs Monday, Irene Maemura ventured to Ventura County over the weekend for a couple of practice rounds.

The Burbank High girls' junior golfer took part in the rounds at Olivas Links Golf Course in Ventura, which offers a similar course environment to that of nearby River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard. It turned out to be a wise move on Maemura's part.

Maemura reaped the benefit Monday, as she carded a one-under-par 71 to finish in a four-way tie for fifth at the CIF Southern Section Northern Individual at River Ridge's Vineyard Course.

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"It helped me out a lot with the practice sessions," said Maemura, a reigning All-Area pick who was one of seven competitors from the field of 106 to shoot under par. "I came [into Monday] feeling pretty good with my overall game.

"My driver mostly worked well and my putting was real good. I was able to get a good flow with my swing."

Maemura, who was among five area athletes to take part in the 18-hole round, was one of 36 players to advance to the Individual Championship and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament at 7:30 a.m. Nov. 7 at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente. Among the other area athletes who will join her will be Burroughs' Joany Gao, who finished in a seven-way tie for 12th at 73 and Crescenta Valley's Jocelyn Chia (seven-way for 28th at 77). The cut on Monday was 77.

La Cañada's Melissa Leo, who took second in the Pacific League individual final Oct. 15 at River Ridge, shot a 79 to finish in a six-way tie for 42nd. Crescenta Valley's Andrea Han had an 81 to end up in a four-way tie for 51st on the 5,232-yard course.

Andrea Lee of Mira Costa carded a 66 to earn medalist honors and Diamond Bar's Bethany Wu finished runner-up with a 67.

Gao, who earned a spot on the All-Area team last season, said she was able to play a sturdy round after adapting to the course's greens.

"At league, the greens were pretty fast, but they were a bit slower this time around," Gao said. "My driver helped and I was able to stay steady with my putting.

"I'm definitely improving. I want to keep it up going into the next round. I want to qualify out of the next round. There's still a lot of good competition."

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