NVC's Jordan Lowe qualifies for CCCAA Women's Golf State Championships
By MARTY JAMES
Napa Valley College's Jordan Lowe advanced to the California Community College Athletic Association Women's Golf State Championships by finishing as the fourth individual qualifier at the two-day, 36-hole Northern California Regional Championships.
Lowe, a sophomore out of Vacaville High School, had rounds of 88 on Monday and 91 on Tuesday for a 179 total at Ridge Creek Dinuba Golf Club in Tulare County. She will be making her second straight trip to the state finals, scheduled for Nov. 17-18 at Morro Bay Golf Course in San Luis Obispo County.
"She had to battle hard," Storm head coach Bob Freschi said. "She had some real tough shots and she executed them. There were tough greens and some tough pin placements. She came on strong when she had to, to put herself into the states. She was proud of herself."
Despite making a double bogey on her final hole, Lowe shot 5-over 41 on the back nine, completing a solid comeback on a very difficult par-72 links-style championship course, designed by John Fought.
"It's nice to have one of our players represent Napa Valley and go to state," said Freschi. "She has what it takes. She just has to improve her short game. It's going to be another tough test with fast, sloping greens. She needs to focus on her chipping and putting."
The top four teams, along with six individuals, move on to state. Reedley College won the team title, Modesto Junior College was second and Sierra-Rocklin was third in the team scoring.
Lowe turned her game around after shooting 50 on the front nine. She hit seven greens in regulation on the back nine and used a strong short game to keep her scoring down.
"I really just had to stay focused," said Lowe, who has played in the No. 1 spot all season for the Storm. "I just kind of needed to bounce back after having a horrible front nine. The golf course was very challenging. You really had to keep it straight. It felt good to come back from shooting 50 on the front.
"One of my goals for the season was to make it to state again. I accomplished my goal."
Freschi said he talked with Lowe after her eighth hole of the final round, to try and get her turned around, telling her, "Let's focus on what's next. Hey, there's a lot of golf ahead. Play your game. Do your best around the greens."
Baylee Vyenielo, a sophomore out of Analy High School in Sebastopol, finished as the seventh individual and is the first alternate after shooting 92-93 – 185 for Napa Valley.
Ruthie Bowen, a sophomore from Buckingham High School in Vacaville, shot 95-97 – 192.
"It's a grind out there," said Freschi. "They hung in there and played and persevered. I'm really proud of them."
Napa Valley completed the Big 8 Conference tournament season, with the Storm shooting a season-low 399 total to finish sixth out of eight teams at Spring Creek Country Club in Ripon (San Joaquin County). Lowe led Napa Valley, shooting an 85.
Reedley College won the Big 8 Conference title.
Napa Valley played in nine conference tournaments.
Lowe received All-Big 8 Conference honors last year as a freshman. She placed 33rd, shooting 86-84 – 170 at the CCCAA State Championships, played at Morro Bay Golf Course, last year.
* 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.