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Steinberg Can Write New Chapter of Golf History at Brentwood CC


Golf at the Brentwood Country Club dates to the turn of the century.

Like nearly everything else in Los Angeles of the same approximate age, colorful stories abound. There have been ups and downs at the club, no doubt about it.

In the 1940s, for instance, Brentwood briefly went public and was operated by a couple named Gregory who, according to club legend, were actually agents for the deposed king of Romania, the true owner of the property.

There's a new king in town, and it may take a coup of sorts to unseat Craig Steinberg of Van Nuys, the two-time reigning champion of the Southern California Golf Assn. Amateur Championship, which begins today at Brentwood.

Steinberg, a USC graduate and a member of Braemar Country Club, also won the championship in 1988.

A victory this year would make Steinberg the third four-time winner in tournament history and the first player to win three consecutive titles.

Steinberg, 35, edged Bob Clark of Murrieta on the first hole of sudden death at Fairbanks Ranch Country Club in San Diego last year to become only the second player in four decades to win consecutive titles.

Clark, the 1972 NCAA individual champion, lost to Steinberg by one shot at Bel-Air Country Club the previous year.

In short, if Steinberg is the king, Clark, 46, is the prince.

"He's been a total of one stroke worse over what, 144 holes?" Steinberg said. "That's about as close as it gets."

The event opens with 36 holes today, after which the 89-man field will be pared to the low 42 players plus ties.

Play concludes with 18-hole rounds on Saturday and Sunday. Each round is stroke play.

Area players entered include former Newbury Park High standout Darren Humphrey; El Camino Real graduate Tony Bordwell, now playing at Cal State Northridge; former CS Northridge standout Corby Segal of Burbank; former L.A. City champion Mike Turner of Van Nuys, and former State Amateur champion Charlie Wi of Thousand Oaks.

Todd Demsey of Rancho Santa Fe, an Arizona State standout and the reigning NCAA Division I individual champion, will tee off at 8:10 a.m. and play in Steinberg's foursome. Demsey defeated David Berganio of Sylmar last summer to win the State Amateur title.

Brentwood, which last hosted the event in 1974, could be conducive to another Steinberg title.

"Most people would say it's a good course for me," Steinberg said. "It's short and tight, and I'm pretty accurate and not real long.

"But if you're playing well, it doesn't matter how good the course is. You seem to find a way to win no matter where you are."

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