RIVERSIDE — While Jocelyn Chia's score was impressive, Crescenta Valley High girls' golf Coach Lee Pope was far more impressed with what she did off the course Thursday in the CIF Southern Section Eastern Team Divisional.
With officials busy tallying up individual and team scores at the end of the tournament, Chia noticed a discrepancy in her score. With her two-over-par 73 and a team score of 420, the Falcons were still in contention of advancing to the next round of CIF.
The three-time All-Area Girls' Golfer of the Year realized she'd signed an incorrect score card, though – she'd actually shot a 74 – and went to the officials with the news. Chia's score was disqualified and dropped her team out of contention of advancing, with a team score of 455 that came in 10th out of the 18 teams.
“It was just the right thing to do, no matter what it is,” said Chia, whose team took second in the Pacific League this year behind Arcadia and in front of Burroughs. “It was lower, so I went and said, 'There's something wrong here.' It's integrity and good sportsmanship just to do it. Even if I'm disqualified, it's the right thing to do.”
If her 74 would have stood, which was tied for the fifth best individual score overall with Burroughs' Joany Gao, Vista Murrieta's Alli Kim and Santiago Corona's Erica Wang, Crescenta Valley would have still missed the cut and finished tied for fourth with a 420.
Great Oaks produced the individual medalist in Monika Poomcharoen, who shot an one-under 70.
Troy won the event with a 392, which edged Palm Desert (393) by one stroke. Arcadia advanced with a third-place showing and team score of 400. Burroughs took 16th with a team score of 511.
“It's more important for her to be totally honest,” Pope said of Chia. “There's about 80 percent of the girls in there that once that score is on there they wouldn't say a thing. My hat's off to her in that aspect. Golf is a game of respect and honesty and she showed that.”
CV had three other players shoot 84 or below, with Andrea Han and Gina Chung both shooting an 83 and Audrey Chung adding an 84, but were just missing that fifth score to put them over the top.
“It's been like that for the last couple years, I've been solid through four but you need five,” said Pope, who had Alice Yoon (97) and Laura Perez (108) rounded out the scoring. “We're getting there with the younger girls, it's good experience for them.”
Gao was pleased with her performance Thursday and will now turn her attention to individual competition, as she advanced on Monday to the CIF Individual Championship and Women's Southern California Golf Assn. Qualifying Tournament with Chia and Burbank's Irene Maemura. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. Nov. 7 at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente.
“I've shot lower here, but I was more concerned with having fun because I knew we weren't necessarily trying to move on,” Gao said. “It was like our last match.”
Burroughs also played down a golfer when Katrina Villareal came down with food poisoning and had to withdraw from the competition.
“It was a tough morning because I found out on the way here that my No. 3 golfer and freshman, Katrina, is sick,” Burroughs Coach Greg Everhart said. “She was really upset this morning, so it was a rough start.”
The Indians received a 101 and 103 from Stephanie Adachi and Ashley Phelps, respectively, a 110 from Maddie Riggs and a 123 from Tiffany Mirabal.
“To be able to compete at this level in CIF, at the highest level of girls' golf really, and perform well is exceptional,” Everhart said of his freshmen Riggs and Phelps. “The experience they earned this year will transport them into next year and on. Next year, as sophomores they're really going to be the leaders of the team.”
While Chia described Thursday's mix-up as “embarrassing” and “awkward,” Pope had no concerns about the All-Area Golfer's ability to rebound.
“For some other girls it might be a problem, but for her I don't think it will affect her one way or another,” he said. “She's been there three years before that, she's old hat with all this stuff.”