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Watkins fires 69 for third place; Vaqueros finish third in State

Vanessa Watkins shot her best round of the year, a 3-under 69, to place third in the State Championship. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)
Vanessa Watkins shot her best round of the year, a 3-under 69, to place third in the State Championship. (Photo by Ken Sciallo / Sevilla Photography)

Vanessa Watkins fired a tournament-low 3-under 69 on Monday and finished third in the CCCAA Women's Golf State Championship at Morro Bay Golf Course. SBCC took third in the two-day, eight-team tournament.

Watkins had five birdies and two bogeys. She toured the 2,738-yard front nine in 3-under 32 with birdies on Nos. 5, 8 and 9. The sophomore from Arroyo Grande High shot 76 and 69 for a 1-over 145.

Nao Brando of Sierra was the medalist (71-70--141). Watkins tied Hannah Lovering (75-70) of Reedley for second, then Lovering won a scorecard playoff on the back nine (35 to 37).

Watkins, who finished seventh in last year's State Finals, was named to the All-State team as one of the top six finishers.

Modesto won its first state championship, despite having no individuals in the top six. The Pirates, led by Janita Vongphoumy (74-75) in seventh place, shot 317 and 316 for a 633 total. They beat defending state champion Sierra (324-313) by four shots and the Vaqueros (641) by eight.

SBCC freshman Stephanie Farouze shot 81 and tied for 22nd at 163, Lauren Calvin was 28th (81-84--165) and Elly Carlson (87-83) tied for 34th.

"We didn't play our best in this tourney and that's frustrating," said Vaquero coach Chuck Melendez. "Hats off to Modesto, they played great both days. And Vanessa was fantastic. There were a lot of college scouts out there today and she really rose to the occasion.

"I'm extremely proud of my team and how they played this year. It just wasn't in the cards this week."

Santa Barbara posted a 90-3 record this year and won 13 of 15 tournaments. The Vaqueros have finished first, second and third in the state the last three years. Their record over the past three seasons is a sparkling 269-9 (.968).

State Championship
At par-72 Morro Bay GC
Final scores
 
Team -- 1, Modesto 316-317--633. 2, Sierra 325-313--637. 3, SBCC 324-317--341. 4, Canada 325-319--644. 5, Cuyamaca 331-321--652. 6, Moorpark 356-343--699. 7, Canyons 364-342--706. 8, Butte 354-358--712.
 Medalist (par 72) -- 1, Nao Bando, Sierra, 71-70--141. 2, Hannah Lovering, Reedley, 75-70-145 (won card-off). 3, Vanessa Watkins, SBCC, 76-69--145. 4, Brittney Do, Saddleback, 71-76--147. 5, Kylie Sok, Irvine Valley, 72-76-148.
 SBCC scores -- 3, Watkins 76-69--145 (1-over-par, makes All-State). 22 (tie), Stephanie Farouze 82-81--163. 28, Lauren Calvin 81-84--165. 34 (tie), Elly Carlson 87-83--170. 36 (tie), Elle Gaston 85-88--173, Jessica Safford 86-87--173.
 SBCC overall record -- 90-3.