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Junior World Golf Tournament : Lyford's Steady Play Brings Her Girls' Title

July 19, 1986|CHRIS ELLO

SAN DIEGO — Michele Lyford shot a par 74 on Torrey Pines' North Course Friday afternoon to win the girls' 15-17 division of the Optimist Junior World Golf Tournament.

The 17-year-old Redlands resident's steady play allowed her to break a 219 tie with Cypress' Amy Fruhwirth. Lyford finished with a four-round total of 293. Bonita's Christy Erb shot a three-under-par 71 to finish second behind Lyford with a 295.

In the boys' 15-17 division on Torrey Pines' South Course, Carito Villaroman of the Philippines shot a one-under-par 71 and cruised to the championship by 11 strokes over San Diego's Phil Mickelson. Villaroman's four-day total of 15-under-par 273 broke the tournament record by seven strokes.

While Villaroman was winning easily, Lyford had to wait until the par-5 13th hole to take control for good. She led Fruhwirth by three shots when both players hit just short of the 13th green in two. Lyford chipped close to the hole and Fruhwirth chipped past the green. As Fruhwirth scrambled for a bogey, Lyford birdied to expand her lead to five strokes.

"I felt I had it in the bag right there," Lyford said.

After locating her father, she packed her bags and got ready to head back to Redlands. Once there, she will celebrate some before getting ready for another tournament Monday in Palm Springs.

"I'm playing well right now so that ought to be a lot of fun," Lyford said.

"Winning isn't all that big of a deal for me," Lyford said in between giggles. "If I don't win, I might be disappointed, but it doesn't affect my whole day."

Villaroman, meanwhile, is happy enough with his golf. The Weber State star now has become the first junior ever to win the 15-17 boys' division two straight years. Villaroman won the title as a 16-year-old by two strokes.

This year, he took control early by posting a 66 in the first round and a 67 in the second. He had only five bogeys the entire tournament.

"I liked it this way," Villaroman said. "There's no use leaving anything to chance on the final day."

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