Cool Abdulghany delivers

Costa Mesa Junior Championship

Newport Beach resident, 12, wins girls' 12-14 division by staying calm after hot first round.

July 29, 2011|By Steve Virgen,
(Scott Smeltzer…)

After shooting a one-under-par 69 in the first round of the Costa Mesa Junior Championship Wednesday, Alyaa Abdulghany had someone very important to talk to before the final round.

The incoming seventh-grader at Corona del Mar Junior High had a short discussion with Alyaa Abdulghany.

"I just talked to myself to get myself calm," said Abdulghany, a 12-year-old who lives in Newport Beach. "All I said to myself was, 'calm down. You have another day.'"

Abdulghany calmly carded a one-over 71 to finish at even 140 and won the girls' 12-14 division of the 22nd annual golf event at Costa Mesa Golf & Country Club Thursday.

She finished with four birdies combined during both rounds on the Mesa Linda course.

Abdulghany said she became very excited after her 69 in the opening round because she was the only female golfer to go under par in all three age divisions of the event.


Winning the Costa Mesa junior title was Abdulghany's third straight win on the Southern California PGA Junior Tour, after taking first in the Shorecliffs Summer Championship and the Heartwell Summer Championship.

She preferred this win at Costa Mesa because she was able to go under on the first day and stay calm during the final round.

"I did very well in this tournament, much better than my last win," she said. "I did better with my hitting and my chipping."

Abdulghany expects to keep improving. She doesn't play other sports and solely focuses on golf. She said won't compete until the Tustin Ranch Summer Championship at Tustin Ranch Golf Club Aug. 15.

But she'll continue to train. She said she plays golf "almost every single day."

"I enjoy it," she said. "I like everything about it: the mental challenge and the physical challenge. There were a lot of mental challenges [Thursday] because I had to keep myself calm from [Wednesday]. But it worked out well."

Amy Matsuoka of Newport Beach was fourth in the girls' 12-14 division nine shots behind Abdulghany, who won the title by four strokes against Amanda Brown of Coto de Caza.

Euna Pak of Irvine won the girls' 15-18 division title, as she also finished at even 140, shooting for par 70 on both days.

Cassandra Stevenson of Costa Mesa finished 10th. She went 83-82-165. Joanna Cheng of Irvine (83-84-167) finished 11th.

Yoonju Shin of Irvine won the title in the girls' 9-11 division, which had only two players competing in two nine-hole rounds. Shin shot 19-over 89, after going 46-43.

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