NVC's Baylee Vynielo and Jordan Lowe begin state women's golf championship
By MARTY JAMES
The 2019 California Community College Athletic Association Women's Golf State Championship began on Sunday with first-round play at Morro Bay Golf Course, a par-72, 5,378-yard layout, in San Luis Obispo County.
Napa Valley College is well represented, with Baylee Vynielo and Jordan Lowe, both sophomores, playing in their final event for the Storm.
Vynielo is in 46th place after an opening round 91.
Lowe is tied for 52nd place after shooting a 96.
"Baylee played really well and had a really nice round going," Napa Valley coach Bob Freschi said.
"Jordan struggled. She just couldn't get the ball off the tee. It was just one of those days. But she hung in there and battled hard."
There is more golf ahead for both Vynielo, a graduate of Analy High School in Sebastopol, and Lowe, a Vacaville High graduate.
Monday's final round begins with a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The two-day, 36-hole tournament concludes with an awards ceremony at the Morro Bay Golf Course clubhouse.
Freschi said he plans to tell both NVC players to enjoy the moment, to take it all in, to concentrate on each shot, and try to beat their season low score as they play one last time for the NVC women's golf team.
"It's their last time going out in their Napa Valley career," said Freschi. "Go out there, compete and have a good time. Enjoy it. You may not be down here again."
The weather and conditions were ideal – "picture perfect," as Freschi described it – for the first round.
Lowe is making her second appearance at state. She finished 33rd last year, with rounds of 86 and 84 for a 170 total. She was named to the All-Big 8 Conference team as a freshman.
Lowe advanced to state this year as the third individual qualifier at the two-day, 36-hole Northern California Regional Championships earlier this month at Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club in Tulare County.
Vynielo advanced to state with an at-large berth. She finished as the fifth individual and as the first alternate at NorCals, shooting 92-93 – 185 for Napa Valley.
An injury to a player from Sierra College of Rocklin opened the door for Vyenielo to continue her season, Freschi said.
There are 60 players in the field. Play is from a combination of white/gold tees, according to the CCCAA. The format is 36 holes.
College of the Canyons of Santa Clarita, the defending state champion, is the first-round team leader with a 306 total. Canyons is led by Haruka Koda, the first-round individual leader, with a 2-under-par 70, and Jessie Lin, who is second individually with a 71.
Tied for third at 74 is Samantha Smedshammer of Modesto, Monica Yu of Reedley, and Pratima Sherpa of Santa Barbara City.
In the team scoring, Reedley is in second place with a 320 total. Modesto is third (323), Santa Barbara City is fourth (326), Sierra of Rocklin is fifth (330), Saddleback of Mission Viejo is sixth (331), College of the Desert of Palm Desert is seventh (338), and San Joaquin Delta of Stockton is eighth (373).
The team scoring is based on four player's scores.
Koda was the individual medalist at the CCCAA Southern California Regional Championship, played at Via Verde Country Club in San Dimas, and was named MVP of the Western State Conference.
* Marty James is a freelance writer who makes his home in Napa. He retired on June 4, after spending 40 years as a sports writer, sports editor and executive sports editor for the Napa Valley Register, a daily newspaper in Napa County. He is a 1979 graduate of Sacramento State and a member of the California Golf Writers & Broadcasters Association, Associated Press Sports Editors, and California Prep Sports Media Association. He was inducted into the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in 2016 and the Vintage High School Athletic Hall of Fame in September of 2019.