When asked to explain her team’s success this season, College of the Canyons’ women’s golf’s Jessie Lin could only muster one word:
That word might even be an understatement when considering the accomplishments of this year’s team. On Monday, winning the CCCAA SoCal Regional Championship at Alisal River Golf Course in Solvang just adds to the list.
Through two rounds, the Cougars finished the day with an overall team score of 603. In second place was College of the Desert at 647 and in third was Santa Barbara Community College at 659.
“It’s very rewarding,” said coach Gary Peterson. “The team has kind of been on a journey for a goal all season long and I’ve been coaching quite a while and this is one of the more, I would say, determined and dominant teams I’ve ever had.”
Jessie Lin was medalist, carding tournament lows of 3-under 69 and 1-under 71 through two rounds for a total of 140.
It was the first time that Lin had carded a 1-under in any tournament this season. To reach the achievement, Lin worked on her short game leading up to the CCCAA SoCal Regional Championship.
“My short game is good today and my putting helped me a lot,” she said. “(I practice that) two days a week if I have time because I have to do my homework.”
Lin, a native of Xinfeng Township, Taiwan, has helped drop the team’s score through her individual play and also by inspiring other golfers on the team to improve their results.
“Playing with like people that push me to do better really helps and playing with people that are in a way better than me, like pushes me to do better as well,” said Hart grad Paige Heuer.
Heuer was tied for third overall on the team with a cumulative score of 159. Canyon grad Shabana Poswal also shot her best score of the season with a 16-over in the second round.
Peterson said that the two, along with the rest of the team, have learned a lot from watching Lin and Japan native Haruka Koda’s focused, yet peaceful, approach to the game.
“If they miss a putt, it’s okay,” Peterson said. “They get it back and they let it go and a lot of times with the athletes that we get at this level, they have the inability to recover and I think that both Haruka and Jessie have helped the other golfers recover.”
The Cougars now turn their attention to the first round of the CCCAA State Championships on Sunday at 9 a.m. at Morro Bay Golf Course. The tournament will conclude on Monday.
“A lot of times, when people get to the championship they get in their own way, they handcuff themselves,” Peterson said. “They have self doubt. We’ve been working on that all season, not having self doubt and believing in yourself.”