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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

DeBell Gets the Worst of Area's Best Golfers

Surber and Flintridge Prep teammates don't stick around long enough to find out they won.

April 10, 1998|PETER YOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

BURBANK — Most of the team still might not know it, but Flintridge Prep won the DeBell tournament Thursday at DeBell Golf Course.

Disgusted with their play, Flintridge Prep seniors Russell Surber, Andy Brisbois and Bill Doyle bolted from the course after turning in their cards, thinking their team didn't have a chance to win the 24-team tournament.

Oh ye of little faith.

The Rebels, who finished second last year and won the tournament in 1995, shot a four-player total of 318 to beat region power Hart by one stroke. St. Francis finished third at 321 followed by Glendora at 322 and Valencia at 323.

Mike Mendoza of La Puente Bishop Amat won the individual championship with a one-under-par 70, four strokes ahead of Notre Dame sophomore Kevin Coghlan and Hart senior Charlie Smith, the 1997 champion.

"All the kids stormed out of here so they could go practice," Flintridge Prep Coach Bob Loughrie said. "I think they'll be a bit surprised."

Freshman Jeff Osborn, who shot a team-best 74 for the Rebels, was the only team member to stick around while the scores were tallied.

"That's because he's the only one who's not old enough to drive himself," said Osborn's mother.

Osborn, whose score was good enough to win the B Flight, said this was his first taste of a big high school tournament.

"I like team tournaments," he said. "There's a certain amount of pride involved with helping the team. I was pretty nervous this morning because I knew if I didn't shoot a really good score, then some other teams would really challenge us."

Surber, who has signed with Texas, had a 75. Brisbois, headed to the University of San Diego, shot 79 and Doyle carded a 90.

The Rebels' winning score was the third highest in tournament history. Only Rowland's 321 in 1988 and Hart's 320 in 1992 were higher winning scores.

"It's unbelievable we can win with a 90," Loughrie said. "I mean, the day was perfect, the wind was not a factor and high school golf is getting better. It was just a weird day."

Players and coaches from all teams complained about the conditions of the greens and about the slow pace of play. I took more than six hours for some groups to finish, with up to three groups waiting their turns on some tees.

Some, however, were not affected.

"You just can't think about it," said Mendoza, a junior who was three-under-par before a double-bogey on his last hole. "You can't mentally break down like that."

Hart, which has won the tournament seven times, started and ended on the wrong foot.

Senior Brandon Wallace, starting on the 10th hole, blasted his first two tee shots onto a road that runs along the right side of the hole, out of bounds. he had a quadruple-bogey nine on the hole and finished with an 80.

Smith three-putted for a bogey on the 18th, his last hole.

Despite hitting 15 greens in regulation, Smith three-putted three times and had just one birdie.

"That shows that the putting was rough," he said.

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