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Bashin Keeps His Game Above Faltering Crowd

City golf finals: Birmingham senior shoots three-over-par 75 to take one-stroke lead after first round.

May 15, 1999|VINCE KOWALICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Scott Bashin appears to be playing his best golf when it matters most. At least, the Birmingham High senior is playing better than the rest.

Bashin shot a three-over-par 75 on Friday to take the lead after the first of two rounds in the City Section individual championships at Wilson Golf Course in Griffith Park.

Bashin, who finished second by one stroke to teammate Keith Romar in the City 6-A League finals last month, holds a one-stroke lead over Chris Whitaker of Palisades, a junior who finished second in the City championships last season.

Tye Alexander of Palisades and Tommy Mansuwan of El Camino Real are tied at 77.

Bashin, although atop the leader board, was disappointed with his performance, which included one birdie, two bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-four, 361-yard 13th hole. A bit of a letdown, considering he shot a 72 on Monday at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena to qualify for the California Amateur Championships next month at Pebble Beach in Monterey.

Bashin shot a 73 at Wilson in the City finals last season.

"Overall, I haven't been playing badly the whole year," said Bashin, medalist in eight matches this season. "But I've been playing a little bit better than I started out. Today, the wind was gusting. It makes it hard to control the ball's flight."

Romar, who joined Whitaker in a foursome of No. 1-ranked golfers from their respective teams, shot a 78.

His score helped Birmingham stay close in team competition. The Patriots (420) are sixth, 11 strokes behind Hamilton.

The tournament is scheduled to conclude Monday with another round at Wilson. Because of a scheduling error, the round was moved from Harding, Wilson's sister course at Griffith Park.

Chatsworth and Granada Hills, despite having no player break 80, are tied for second at 411. Palisades (414) is fourth, San Pedro (418) fifth.

Several golfers echoed Bashin's dissatisfaction. Romar said he had "a lot of chances" but no birdies to go with six bogeys. Romar's highlight was sinking a 20-foot putt for par on the 13th.

"I struggled the whole day," Romar said. "I missed a lot of putts. There was no really good hole for me. But I've got the whole weekend to practice my putting."

Whitaker birdied the first hole, double-bogeyed the second and struggled to make par the rest of the way.

"I've got to work on my short game, my chipping and putting," Whitaker said.

Darrin Schneider of Granada Hills, who shot 72 and 76 in last season's City finals at Wilson-Harding, shot 80, including "a nice triple-bogey on 16" after making two birdies on the front nine.

Schneider hit two balls into the trees on the par-four 16th and triple-putted.

"I was hoping to shoot around 75," Schneider said. "The greens were bumpy and I didn't hit the ball as well as I liked. There is definitely room for improvement. Nobody played their best today."

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