Kim, Powell Claim SCGA Junior Titles

Ashley Kim of La Mirada captured the Girls Division and Luke Powell of Laguna Nigel won the Boys Division in the Southern California Golf Association Junior Championships at Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon in Beaumont.

Kim carded a score of 66-70—136, eight-under-par, on the Champions Course to win by three strokes over Alice Zhao of Irvine, who shot 67-72—139 to tie for second with Eliana Saga of Stevenson Ranch, who finished at 70-69—139.

“I tried my best this weekend and it worked well,” said Kim, who made eagles on the 11th hole in the first round and at No. 9 in round two. “Both days I got an eagle on the par-5s, so I think that was my gamechanger. I was trying to focus on the putting. It was a lot of three-footers and four-footers. It worked good.”

Yurang Li of Fullerton was fourth at 74-66–140, while Alona Avery of Riverside totaled 72-73—145 to tie for fifth with Elise Lee of Irvine, who wound at 73-72—145, and Nikki Oh of Torrance was seventh at 74-73—147.

Kylie Chong of Torrance posted a score of 78-70—148 to tie for eighth with Annika Ishiyama of Costa Mesa, who finished at 74-74—148, Lauren Sammon of Murrieta, who also wound up at 74-74—148, and Kristina Xu of Claremont, who came in at 73-75—148.

Powell carded a score of 66-68—134, 10-under-par, on the Legends Course to win by two strokes over Kai Hirayama of Arcadia, who shot 71-65—136, while Jeffrey Kwak of La Mirada was third at 69-68—137, followed by Aaron Huang of Coto de Caza at 71-69—140.

“I think I played solid,” said Powell, who has committed to the University of Santa Clara. “Out here you can’t really miss a shot much and consistency was huge. It’s also really tough when you add in the weather element. I think the putting really helped. It saves you when you mess up and it’s the main point I’m going to continue focusing on into this off-season.

“I’m super stoked.  A lot of hard work coming into this and to get this (championship) toward the end of the season feels great. … I’m really happy with where my putting is going. It’s something I’ve been working on a ton and something I put a lot of time and effort into. Getting up and down and (my) short game, it’s huge to me out here. And it’s how you close out golf tournaments. You make putts at the end when they count.”

Joshua Chung to San Diego carded a score of 72-69—141 to finish in a tie for fifth with Erik Fukushima of Irvine, who totaled 70-71—141, and Matthew Diehl of Redlands, who wound up at 69-72—141.

Zander Grant of Rancho Santa Margarita shot 73-69—142 to tie for eighth with Cooper Greenwood of Westlake Village, who finished at 71-71—142, while Austin Woods of Indian Wells totaled 73-70—143 to tie for 10th with Brasen Briones of Chula Vista, who came in at 69-74—143.

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