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Improvement by Tustin Is Food for Thought

March 14, 2000|PETER YOON

If Tustin keeps playing the way it has, Tiller Coach Mike Patton is going to end up pretty light in the wallet.

The Tillers have started 6-0, including shooting a school-record 186 at Dad Miller in Anaheim. Their highest score this season is 210 and they have twice shot 208 at Tustin Ranch.

The trouble is that Patton promised pizza to the team whenever it breaks 200 at Tustin Ranch, the Tillers' home course.

"They tried to stick it to me last week after Dad Miller," Patton said.

They didn't get it, but if the trend of improvement continues, it could become a regular occurrence.

Sophomores Chris Pack, Matt Isaacson and Jay Kim lead the way with juniors Dan Florey and Mike Kim also in the mix. Joel Massey, a four-year letterman, is the lone senior on the team. All are serious about golf, according to Patton, and that has made all the difference.

"This is the first group I've had that all play golf year-round," Patton said. "In the past we'd have one or two guys that played year-round and the rest would play four months out of the year."

The results are concrete, with 194s at Cypress and El Prado in the last week to go with the 186.

"Dad Miller is pretty easy," Patton said. "But we had all our guys between 36-38 and I don't care where your playing, that's pretty good golfing."

The early success has the Tillers thinking about advancing to the Southern Section finals for the first time in Patton's six years as coach.

"Last year, we were excited when we broke 215," Patton said. "This year, the kids shot 186 and all they could talk about was the holes they three-putted. It's a totally different attitude."


With Servite now in the Serra League, Tustin and Ocean View are the favorites to win the Golden West League . . . if there is a Golden West League.

Saddleback and Santa Ana do not field golf teams, leaving only Tustin, Ocean View and Westminster. Those schools recruited freelance Capistrano Valley Christian to meet the Southern Section minimum requirement of four teams in a league.

But Westminster's program appears in jeopardy. The Lions have canceled several matches this year and have not given word to other Golden West League coaches if they will compete in league matches.

"I hear they dropped the program," Patton said. "But I haven't heard if our matches are going to be canceled."

Several calls to Westminster Coach John Seely and Athletic Director Joe McGukin were not returned.

If the speculation that Westminster has dropped its program is correct, Tustin, Ocean View and Capistrano Valley Christian will have to play in the freelance tournament in order to qualify for the Southern Section finals.


Steve Conway has been on a tear for top-ranked Santa Margarita. The UCLA-bound senior has nine-hole scores of 33 and 31 among his five rounds and has yet to shoot a score over par.

The 31, which tied a school record set last year by Dave Hawkins and equaled earlier this year by Mike Farrell, included a three-putt on the third hole on the North Course at Coto de Caza.


Brea Olinda entered two three-man teams in the Chaffey tournament last week at Empire Lakes in Ranch Cucamonga and all six Wildcat players shot 78 or better.

The Brea B team won the tournament and the A team finished second.


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