By John M. Sherrard
(Temecula, CA) Mt. SAC freshman Mackenzie Kelly finished in a tie for 10th place at the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) SoCal Championships, advancing to next weeks state championships to be held at the Morro Bay Golf Course (Nov. 12-13).
Kelly, who shot her first-ever hole in one earlier this season, was one of 6 individual golfers, out of the field of 61 (18 colleges), to qualify on the Temecula Creek Inn par 72 course.
Four teams from both the South and North, plus the top six individual golfers from each region not on the advancing teams, qualified for the state championship field of 60 competitors.
"All of the other sports do really well here at school with their many championships and I want to see women's golf do well too," said Kelly, who averaged 82.2 in five Orange Empire Conference matches this season and was named to the all-conference team. "It feels great to represent (Mt. SAC)."
Kelly qualified the hard way by shooting a 46 on the front nine (10 over par), but improved 10 strokes on the back nine, to shoot 82 for the round. Her two-day score of 163, was two strokes above the cut line of 165.
"Her last two holes (17th and 18th) were absolutely incredible," replied third-year Mt. SAC Women's Golf Coach Greg Osbourne. "She put it all together on the second day. She got up and down on a very difficult chip on the final hole and knocked in a three-foot putt for par. "If she didn't make that putt, she might not have made the cut (for state)."
Per golf rules, Kelly took two provisional chip attempts on the final hole due to her approach shot landing in a gopher hole.
After summoning tournament officials for a ruling, a "free drop" was ruled. Kelly's dropped ball, chip on to the green and 3-foot putt for the par was credited.
Kelly and the Mounties have continuously improved throughout the season under Osbourne, a member of the PGA.
"It (going to state) feels good...," replied Kelly, whose high school team had never advanced to the CIF Championships. "I've been practicing a lot and it's finally paying off."
All-Orange Empire Conference Second Team selections, Ryane Broughton (176 2-day total - 89, 87) and Brianna Pulido (195 2-day total - 98, 97), each had a great season for the Mounties, but missed the cut to advance.
"The So Cal's were a great experience for the girls," replied Osbourne. "It was a successful trip."
Follow Mt. SAC Women's Golf on twitter @MtSAC_WGolf
For additional information, please contact the Mt. SAC Sports Information Office at 909.274.4630.