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Matsuoka made history for CdM

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Sophomore golfer won title at Pacific Coast League tournament, firing five birdies on second day.

November 01, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Corona del Mar High sophomore golfer Amy Matsuoka is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week.
Corona del Mar High sophomore golfer Amy Matsuoka is the… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Corona del Mar High sophomore golfer Amy Matsuoka is somewhat of a rarity, a consistent performer in a sport known for its up and downs.

Matsuoka constantly finishes top 10 in the American Junior Golf Assn. tournaments in which she plays. In the Sea Kings' 14 matches this fall, she was medalist in half, despite missing two matches to play an AJGA tournament in Oklahoma.

How does she do it?

"The key is just to have a positive attitude and keep plugging through it," Matsuoka said.

After last week, Matsuoka also can say she made school history.

The Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week shot 70-67 at the Pacific Coast League individual girls' golf championship at Dos Lagos Golf Course in Corona. Her two-day total of 137, which included five birdies on the second day, helped her win the individual title. Coach Mike Starkweather said she's believed to be the first individual league champion in school history.

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"I feel really honored to represent my school," said Matsuoka, who got third place last year at PCL finals. "I couldn't believe it. I was really surprised."

Few should be surprised at Matsuoka's success. She's ranked No. 30 among AJGA junior girls in the country, after winning her first AJGA tournament in Kansas City over the summer. Last year, she was the only Newport-Mesa girl to qualify for the CIF Regional State Qualifier.

Matsuoka can get back to that tournament by finishing top 28 at the CIF Southern Section Individual Championship and WSCGA Qualifying Tournament, which takes place Thursday at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente. She's never played the course, but Matsuoka did play a practice round Friday. She'll be joined there Thursday by her CdM freshman teammate, Alyaa Abdulghany, who is a stud in her own right.

Abdulghany was the medalist at six of the Sea Kings' matches this season. She also was medalist at a far bigger tournament on Halloween morning, when she fired a three-under-par 67 to finish first at the CIF Southern Section Southern Division Team Championships at Costa Mesa Country Club's Mesa Linda course.

Matsuoka doesn't want to finish one match short of the CIF State Meet again. She said her goal is to make the meet, which takes place Nov. 20 at Quail Lodge in Carmel, for the first time.

With her talent, Starkweather knows that she definitely has a shot.

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