Girls’ golf overcomes internal battle, shows out at individual league finals

Cole Jacobson

In the regular season, the worse scorer out of Karina Gou ’18 and Josie Baker ’18 generally lost nothing more than a bit of pride, as she would happily watch her classmate take the team’s top score as long as the squad came out victorious.

On Thursday, however, the lower placer of the two lost a chance to continue their individual season.

Five Harvard-Westlake golfers qualified for the Mission League’s individual finals on Thursday at the River Ridge Golf Course, and one will be moving on in solo play. Baker edged Gou in a playoff for 8th place in the Mission League — the league’s last eligible spot to advance to the CIF Southern Section Northern Division individual finals. Sherman Oaks Notre Dame’s Janet Yeo ’15 won the league’s individual championship, putting up a score of 148, giving Notre Dame their 5th consecutive individual league title to complement their 6th straight team league title clinched on Monday.

Scores were pretty high all around the league on Thursday, as Head Coach Marge Chamberlain said, “The greens were fast and the pin positions wicked, as no player posted a lower score [than Yeo’s 75].” Baker and Gou shot 88 and 87, respectively, during Thursday’s round; Chamberlain acknowledged that they “were challenged by the greens but still hung tough.”

Because Baker had been one stroke ahead of Gou on Monday’s course, the two stars initially tied at 166 strokes apiece, as the final scores included both Monday’s and Thursday’s 18-hole rounds. Thus, a 37th hole was necessary to create a gap between the two freshmen phenoms, where Josie shot par to Karina’s bogey to take the last qualifying spot. Despite only one of them being able to advance, both golfers were named to the First Team All-Mission League. In addition to Baker and Gou, Carolyn Hong ’17, Vivian Lin ’16, and Lauren Song ’16 also qualified for Thursday’s round by placing in the top 16 scorers during Monday’s team finals at the Harding-Wilson Golf Course.

Chamberlain said about the instant classic: “It says a lot about our team that five players advanced [to the league finals].  We learned a lot this year, and look forward to the team event at Soule Park.  It was fitting that Josie and Karina would battle down to the end; all season long they have led our squad.  I am proud of both of them. Josie works very hard on her chipping and it paid off — she was off the green on the playoff hole, chipped it to 3 feet and made the par putt to advance.”

Baker might have a slight advantage on her foes in her next competition, as the aforementioned CIF-SS Northern Division individual finals will take place at the same River Ridge course at 10 A.M. on Oct. 27, where the top 36 scorers will advance to the entire CIF Southern Section individual finals. As for the remainder of the team, they will re-unite with Baker at the CIF-SS Northern Division team finals on Oct. 30, where the top three teams will advance to the Southern Section finals.

More on the Mission League individual finals can be read here: