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THE TIMES 1997 SPRING ALL-COUNTY TEAMS

Sinay Solves Puzzle, Improves Game

Golfer of year: A little bit of everything came together to produce a strong season for University freshman.

June 14, 1997|MARTIN BECK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

IRVINE — University's Brian Sinay didn't play much like a prodigy early in his freshman golf season.

He was usually solid, but played below expectations given a junior golf resume that included more than 40 tournament titles.

Midway through the season, something clicked for Sinay. A timely lesson from his teaching professional helped. A nagging hand injury had stopped bothering him.

"I guess when it finally truly healed the guy just went nuts," University Coach Craig Huff said. "He just about hit every green. He was making his putts. He was just a machine."

The cogs of Sinay's game would eventually produce a Southern Section individual championship. The Times Orange County player of the year shot three-under-par 69 at Canyon Country Club in Palm Springs to win the title.

The victory wasn't a fluke. In the undefeated Trojans' last seven league matches, Sinay was nearly untouchable while shooting a cumulative two-over par. It started to come together a few days after a lesson from Tom Sargent, head pro at Mesa Verde Country Club, but Sinay also was working on his mental game.

"One of my main problems at the beginning of the year was I wasn't in tournament mode," Sinay said. "I was missing one- and two-foot putts. It was just horrible.

"It was just totally not there. I got so frustrated. I was mad as I could get with my game. I even started to practice putting in my bedroom just to get my stroke more smooth."

"I don't think I've missed a putt under three feet since."

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