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PREP GOLF

Lancers' Schmidt Advances to Finals

May 18, 1999|PETER YOON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

It has been somewhat of a struggle this season for Sunny Hills golfer Dusty Schmidt, but the UC Irvine-bound senior picked the right time to break out of the slump.

Schmidt shot a three-under 71 and was medalist in the Southern Section Individual South Regional tournament Monday at Los Serranos South Course in Chino Hills.

Schmidt and the other top 24 finishers advance to the Southern Section finals Thursday at Canyon Country Club in Palm Springs.

The names in that group are among the county's elite: Taylor Wood of Santa Margarita shot 72 and finished second; Ron Won of University shot 74 to tie for third and teammate Brian Sinay shot 76 and tied for eighth.

But it was Schmidt standing atop that impressive list after a round that included five birdies and two bogeys. "I haven't been playing well since last summer," Schmidt said. "I never play well in winter months. I don't know what it is."

Schmidt, who was five-under-par through 10 holes before on 15 and 16 put him three under, last won a tournament in the U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier last summer. He has struggled a bit during the high school season.

But Schmidt, despite finishing second in the Empire League for the third consecutive year and shooting 80 at the same course a week ago in the team regional, felt like his time had come.

"I was really expecting to play well," he said. "I've been hitting the ball pretty good and today the putts started dropping."

Wood, a freshman, made a bogey on the par-five 18th and slipped out of a tie for first. Though disappointed with that hole, Wood was just glad his season is still alive.

"Coming in to here I didn't think there were going to be that many good players," Wood said. "Then I started hearing some of the names and I thought I was going to have to have a good round to get through it."

Brad Sader of Brea Olinda and Mark Warman of San Clemente were among the six players who survived a seven-way playoff for the final six spots. Dan Bender of Brea was the odd man out after hitting his tee shot out of bounds on the first playoff hole.

At another regional:

Bollini and Cole advance--Servite's Nico Bollini shot a two-under 70 and teammate Ryan Cole shot 72 at Desert Willow in Palm Springs to both advance to the finals.

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