MADERA — Keila Takeuchi got Hayden Mammen and Claire Malley this time, but they'll meet again.
It may not be in a sudden death playoff, as was the case Monday in the North Area Tournament at Madera Municipal Golf Course, where Clovis West High senior Takeuchi won on the second hole.
But it will be on a bigger stage — the Central Section Individual Championship on Nov. 5 at Madera Country Club.
"I was definitely nervous," said Takeuchi, who also led the Golden Eagles to their eighth straight North Area team title. "I've never been in a sudden death playoff before. But I knew my game was pretty strong and it means a lot to see my hard work pay off in the end."
Takeuchi, Clovis sophomore Mammen and Bullard junior Malley shot 2-under 70s on a toasty, windless day that kissed 83 degrees.
Malley, 51/2 hours after the County/Metro Athletic Conference champion teed off in a foursome that included Takeuchi, bowed out of the playoff by bogeying the 353-yard, par 4 first hole.
Takeuchi nearly ended it there — sensationally — by rattling the pin with a 40-foot birdie putt attempt from the fringe, settling for par.
Only 5-foot-1, but fundamentally sound and with impressive accuracy and length, she wouldn't be denied for long.
She sailed a 240-yard drive slightly right on the 307-yard second hole, plopped a wedge 21 feet shy, putted to within a foot and tapped in for the win.
Mammen, facing a then-meaningless bogey putt after finding a bunker two shots earlier on a difficult approach from a sloped lie, picked up her ball, embraced Takeuchi with a smile and they headed north to the clubhouse to collect their medals.
"It was fun," Mammen said. "I like playing with both of those girls. We had already made it to Valley, so I was just having fun with (the playoff)."
The section individual finals will draw the top 15 qualifiers from the North, Central and South areas. The South also was played Monday; the Central is today at Tulare Golf Course.
Takeuchi and five teammates also will compete in the section team finals next Tuesday at Lemoore Golf Course.
That's familiar territory for Takeuchi, a four-year starter.
And it's also common ground for the Takeuchi family, which produced a Bee All-Star last spring in Russell Takeuchi, Keila's brother, who's now playing for Fresno State.
Little sis could join him.
"That would be kind of cool, following my brother's footsteps," said Keila, who has scheduled a visit with Fresno State coaches in November. She made an official visit to Cal State Monterey Bay last weekend.
Clovis West (387), seeking its sixth section title in eight years, had additional medalists in juniors Jenna Scrivner (fifth, 74) and Katie Horsford (eighth, 78), freshman Allison Musser (13th, 82) and senior Ai Enkoji (15th, 83).
MW, Facchini roll in D-III
Mt. Whitney won the team title by 24 strokes and Hanford West's Hannah Facchini was a runaway individual winner with a 1-over 73 in the Division III championships at Valley Oaks Golf Course in Visalia.
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