Corona del Mar High freshman golfer Amy Matsuoka is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week. (SCOTT SMELTZER, Daily Pilot / November 7, 2012)

Denis Matsuoka said his daughter has qualified for the Toyota Tour Cup a couple of years in a row. The next step is to qualify for national American Junior Golf Assn. tournaments. Matsuoka did play in one from July 30-Aug. 2, the Genesis Junior Championship at Sycuan Resort in El Cajon. She had to play a qualifying round to make the main draw, where she tied for 11th.

"These are the top girls in the nation," Denis Matsuoka said. "I was really proud of her ... she stepped up her game."

Someone who watches from a distance is Amy's older sister, former CdM tennis phenom Melissa Matsuoka. Melissa is now a junior for the Dartmouth College women's tennis team, and she's currently studying abroad in London.

"We're really close," Amy Matsuoka said of her relationship with Melissa, who helped CdM win four PCL girls' tennis titles and the 2006 CIF Southern Section Division 1 title.

Denis said his daughters will often Skype, or talk on Facebook. Both are respectful young women who are known for their sportsmanship.

"Melissa says as soon as she finishes up with tennis in college, she wants to learn golf," Denis Matsuoka said. "The thing is, I tried to get Melissa into golf, and [she said], 'That's boring, I don't want to play' ... It's funny how the mind kind of turns around."

Both daughters are tough.

Amy Matsuoka certainly has the drive to succeed in golf.

"She's got the best work ethic of the kids that I've coached," Starkweather said. "She works really, really hard. She's just truly an amazing golfer, and she's got three more years after this one. Keep your eye on her."

Twitter: @mjszabo


Amy Matsuoka

Born: Feb. 23, 1998

Hometown: Newport Beach

Height: 5-foot-1

Sport: Golf

Year: Freshman

Coach: Mike Starkweather

Favorite food: Mom's Chinese noodles and wontons

Favorite movie: "Dear John"

Favorite athletic moment: Winning the SCPGA Bridgestone Tournament of Champions, in August at Menifee Lakes Country Club.

Week in review: Matsuoka shot a seven-over-par 79 at the CIF Southern Section Individual Final on Nov. 1 at Western Hills Country Club. She tied for 27th and advanced to the CIF Regional State Qualifier.