Chan off to impressive start at California school

Burnett graduate is latest Quilchena junior to take her game to the NCAA level

Kathrine Chan has wasted little time in making an impact on the women’s golf team at Pepperdine University.

The 2018 Burnett graduate was the Waves top finisher at last month’s Bruin Wave Invitational, hosted by UCLA. 

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Chan finished tied for 15th after rounds of 79-75-73 at the par-72 San Luis Obispo Country Club. The 15-school tournament featured eight teams ahead of No. 25 Pepperdine in the national rankings, including winner and No. 5 Stanford.

Chan followed that up with a 29th place finish at the Juli Inkster Invitational after rounds of 74-73-77. She also enjoyed a strong showing at this week’s Lamkin Invitational match play competition. Chan roared back from four holes down to defeat her San Jose State opponent and help the Waves lock up fifth place. 

She is the latest product from the Quilchena Golf and Country Club’s outstanding junior program to take her talents south of the border on a scholarship.

“When I went on a visit and saw Pepperdine for the first time, it felt like being here was meant to be,” said Chan. “The school has a friendly environment that I felt a connection to and because it is a Christian school, I want to grow my faith in God. I also was attracted to the team's high-level competitiveness and their strong academics. Another factor is that the school has consistently warm weather conditions.”

Chan, who was 13th at last summer’s Canadian Junior Girls Championships, has elevated her game in the NCAA Division One environment.

“My short game has improved a significant amount since I arrived in Pepperdine,” said the one-time national development team member. “I used to struggle a lot in that aspect of my game during junior golf but now I'm managing to improve it at a different perspective. Approach shots are one of them as well because I have been starting to have a cleaner contact with it.”

Chan’s arrival at the California school marks the second straight year a Quilchena junior and Burnett grad has taken her game to the NCAA level. Alisha Lau earned a full-ride scholarship to University of Colorado. Her sophomore season was put on hold as she recovers from wrist surgery. 

Quilchena juniors landing with US schools dates further back. Christine Wong enjoyed a decorated career at San Diego State University. Her sister Stephanie also had an impressive run with the UBC Thunderbirds. 

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