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They're Wearing Game Faces This Year

September 12, 2000|PETER YOON

The impressive performances by Angela Won of University, Priscilla Park of Villa Park and Stella Lee of Irvine last year and over the summer seem to have have rubbed off on other players.

As girls' golf enters its third season as a sanctioned Southern Section sport, several county coaches have noticed a change in their players' attitudes and an increase in effort and dedication.

"They see the top players and see what it takes to get there," Santa Margarita Coach Tim O'Hara said. "They aren't just out here for fun or to get out of class. You can see that they're working at it."

O'Hara said the lure of a college scholarship got many players involved, but they are learning it won't be so easy.

"I think some of the girls thought playing high school golf meant an automatic scholarship," he said. "But now they're realizing that you can't get a scholarship if you can't break 80."

Won, a junior, was a quarterfinalist in the U.S. Girls Championship this summer. Park, a junior, and Lee, a senior, each won American Junior Golf Assn. tournaments.

A year ago, that trio played a notch above other county players, but this year, they might have company.

"There are so many good players out there now," University Coach Patti Anduri said. "It's really a different sport now than it was three years ago."

With Won leading the way, University has been the preseason favorite for Southern Section titles the last two years.

The Trojans won in 1998 and were fourth last year, but rebounded to win the inaugural CIF-WSCGA team championship. This year, the Trojans, though ranked No. 1 in Orange County, aren't such clear-cut favorites.

"I'm really nervous this year," Anduri said. "We have two seniors and this is definitely our year to excel, but other schools have been building their teams. I think they're out to get us."


As expected, the Southern Section has cleared Leisl Hasbrouck of Aliso Niguel to play four years of high school golf, section commissioner Jim Staunton said.

Hasbrouck, a highly-touted freshman, had earned varsity letters as a sixth, seventh and eighth grader at Riverside Academy, a 900-student K-12 school in Louisiana.

Staunton said his office contacted officials from Louisiana, who informed him that Louisiana students in a contiguous (K-12) school are eligible to compete on a varsity level regardless of grade without losing high school eligibility. Once that student begins ninth grade, he or she has an eight-semester eligibility limit.

In California, students who have not reached ninth grade cannot play varsity sports. But since Hasbrouck played in another state, Staunton said her four years of eligibility in California remain intact.


The practice round rule for playoff courses has been amended, Staunton said.

Teams and players that qualify for the CIF-WSCGA championship at the SCGA Members Club will be allowed to practice at the course at any time. This is to allow teams traveling from distant locations an opportunity to see the course.

The rule prohibiting any player, coach or representative of a participating school from playing any course to be used for Southern Section playoffs, however, is still in effect, Staunton said.

"The new rule applies only to the WSCGA tournament at the Members Club," Staunton said.

Staunton wanted to make it clear that Oak Valley in Beaumont, Camarillo Springs in Camarillo, El Prado in Chino and Montecito in Santa Barbara are off limits after Nov. 3.

In the spring, the Woodbridge boys' team was disqualified from the section finals for misinterpreting and violating the practice round rule.


Mater Dei raised the eyebrows of county coaches by shooting 15-over-par 123 in a 123-141 in a season-opening victory over Foothill last Thursday at Santa Ana Country Club, but the impressive score wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

The match was shortened to eight holes because of a thunder and lightning storm that rolled through Orange County Thursday afternoon, Mater Dei Coach Geri Campeau said.

Still, the Monarchs appear to be a force. Taking the eight-hole average, the Monarchs would have finished around 138, a pretty good score at Santa Ana.

Boosting the Monarch chances in the Serra League is the return of junior Shayna Shaw, who missed all of last season after a car accident and two shoulder surgeries.

With senior Laura Johsz and junior Jenna Chaidez returning from last year's team, the Monarchs are deep enough to make a run in a league that includes No. 3 Santa Margarita and No. 9 Rosary.

But Campeau said Shaw, runner-up in the South Coast League as a freshman, still feels pain and that the Monarchs' chances of success hinge on how she holds up.

"Down the road, who knows what's going to happen," Campeau said. "But she's a fighter. She wants to be out there playing and she could be an amazing golfer. Our league is so tough it's going to be a challenge just to make the playoffs."


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