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GIRLS' GOLF

Move Over, Tartans Playing Through

September 26, 2000|PETER YOON

The T-shirts pretty much say it all.

Boosters for the St. Margaret's golf team recently purchased shirts inscribed with a question commonly heard by Tartan players: "St. Margaret's has a girls' golf team?"

The answer is yes, and St. Margaret's is making its presence felt on the course this year.

The Tartans are off to a 6-1 start with their only loss coming against No. 2 Villa Park. Led by junior Taylore McClurg and senior Sara Palmer, both of whom qualified for the Southern Section individual finals a year ago, St. Margaret's is more than holding its own against schools that have nearly 10 times the number of students.

But because St. Margaret's is a low-profile team, many schools aren't aware the school has a team. Adding to the difficulty, St. Margaret's plays a freelance schedule because the Academy League does not have enough girls' golf teams.

"I think more people know about us now," Coach Rocky Parker said. "But the hard part is everyone wants to play us in the beginning of the year because they have league schedules later."

Last season, after finishing 8-5 in the regular season, St. Margaret's was the only freelance team to qualify for the Southern Section playoffs.

In order to do so, a freelance team must break 155 in eight matches. Several teams that receive automatic berths based on league standings didn't accomplish that feat.

"Somebody suggested that we join the Serra League," Parker said. "I'm like, 'No, no, no, no.' If a league comes up with other schools our size, then fine. But we don't want to get in a league just to be in a league."

With four matches coming up in the next three weeks against teams ranked in the Orange County top 10, St. Margaret's has a golden opportunity to get into a league of its own.

DOLPHINS REGAIN FORM

Dana Hills used a record-setting performance Wednesday to get rolling after an 0-3 start.

Led by junior Carling Cho's two-under-par 34, Dana Hills set a school record in its 118-124 victory over Aliso Niguel.

The score was also a course record for a girls' team at Aliso Viejo Golf Course.

"That was big," Dana Hills Coach Steve Imbilli said. "We could have gone to 0-4 and that would be demoralizing."

The day before, the Dolphins shot a season-high in a 133-147 loss to the Wolverines. It was the third loss of the year for Dana Hills, eclipsing the loss total from all of last season.

"Nobody was playing well," Imbilli said.

UNLUCKY NUMBER

Aliso Niguel Coach Wayne Westling was excited to see that someone had shot a 34 in the Wolverines' match against Dana Hills. That's his lucky number.

Unfortunately for Westling, the owner of that score was Cho, who plays for Dana Hills. The Dolphins won, leaving Westling scratching his head.

"I specifically told my girls to shoot 34, not them," he joked.

LOOKING AHEAD

The sixth annual Valencia Scramble takes place Monday at Brea Golf Course.

The tournament features 20 teams playing in a three-player scramble. Prizes are awarded for long drive, closest to the pin and longest putt.

"A scramble is more fun for the girls," tournament director John Winek said. "It's a format they don't really get to see."

League play begins this week for most county schools. Look for the Sea View race to be the tightest with Irvine and Aliso Niguel fighting it out and Woodbridge and Newport Harbor looking to spoil. The Serra League also figures to be a battle between Santa Margarita, Rosary and Mater Dei.

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If you have an item or idea for the Girls' Golf report, you can fax us at (714) 966-5663 or e-mail us at peter.yoon@latimes.com

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