In a battle of last year’s Avocado West League girls’ golf co-champions Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Rancho Santa Fe Country Club, it was Canyon Crest that came in with a veteran-stocked squad but Torrey Pines who walked away with the victory, keyed by a first-year medalist. The fourth-ranked Falcons edged the No. 6 Ravens, 201-206, with freshman Muzi Wei carding a two-under par 35 (nine holes).
“This was extremely important in terms of league,” said Torrey Pines Head Coach Chris Drake, whose team moved to 2-1 in Avocado West play. “We still have an uphill battle for a league championship but a loss would have made it very difficult.
“It’s also significant as far as maintaining our position in the rankings for post-season play—all those types of things are on the line in every single match we play now.”
Wei played bogey-free golf over the 2,938-yd. layout, finishing two strokes ahead of junior teammate Libby Fleming and four better than fellow freshman Emily Zhou. Sophomore Sofina Firouzi was low scorer for Canyon Crest, matching Fleming’s 37, while Raven junior Miranda Xu turned in a 39. Drake called Wei’s round timely.
“Muzi’s a great kid who loves to play golf and we’re excited about her future at Torrey Pines,” said Drake. “She has just a sweet, smooth swing, gets the ball in the fairway and doesn’t get herself in trouble.
“She shot a one-under on this course in her tryout round and honestly, has not been that low again until today—she saved her best of the season for when it really mattered.” Wei felt her play off the tee was central to posting the solid number.
“Being out there with my teammates, I was really relaxed and I find that’s probably the most important thing for me,” said Wei. “Golf-wise, my driver was working very well today. I only missed one fairway and that was a savable one because it was a par-five and not a really bad miss.
“Winning always feels good. We’ve lost a couple of matches these last two weeks and I’ve been told that’s more than Torrey Pines has lost in about four years—I’m glad to be able to help change that losing streak.”
Canyon Crest Head Coach Dustin Lackey, while obviously disappointed, took the defeat with a grain of salt. “Losing by five strokes to an outstanding team, particularly on a course where none of our girls has ever played, is pretty impressive,” said Lackey. “Battling a team like Torrey is going to benefit us when we face other top teams in the league.
“Sofina and Miranda were our two low scorers today and when you add Michelle (Yi), who shot 40, into that mix, we’ve got three players who are very consistent and that’s going to make us pretty competitive against anybody down the road.”
The two teams square off again Oct. 9 at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club. Carlsbad currently occupies first place in the Avocado West at 4-0.