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ON THE GREEN

Big Canyon Preps for Big Tournament

September 27, 2000|PETER YOON

Final preparations for next week's U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Championship are underway at Big Canyon Country Club.

Approximately 130 of the top women amateurs 25 and older will compete at the club in Newport Beach Oct. 3-8 in the final United States Golf Assn. championship of the year.

Big Canyon director of golf Bob Lovejoy said Tuesday that from the course's standpoint, everything is ready to go.

"We don't have any concerns at this point," Lovejoy said. "The course is in great shape and everybody is looking forward to it."

A trademark of Big Canyon since its opening in 1971 has been exclusivity. But Dennis Harwood, general chairman of the tournament and member at Big Canyon, said that in order to gain recognition as a prominent course, the club must be tournament tested.

The last major event at Big Canyon was the 1996 Pac-10 championship, when Tiger Woods shot a course-record 61. The course underwent a major redesign in 1999.

The course will be set up to play at a rather short 5,972 yards, but with a slope of 138 and a rating of 77.2, it will not be easy. The course defends itself with many elevated greens and blind shots that will keep players second guessing their club selections.

A record 533 players tried to qualify for the tournament, which, in its 14th installment, is the youngest of the 14 USGA championships. Marianne Towersey of Newport Beach, Lisa Stanley of Laguna Niguel, Carol Kofahl of Huntington Beach and Merry Morgan of Mission Viejo are the county representatives in the field.

Alissa Herron of Minnesota, sister of PGA Tour player Tim Herron, will return to try to defend the title she won last year.

The championship begins with 18-hole stroke-play rounds Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a cut to the low 64 players. Those players will enter a single-elimination match play tournament, with the championship match on Oct. 8. Admission to all days of competition is free.

DALEY GRIND

The first-round match between Peter Daley of Newport Beach and Alexander Lindsey of Swampscott, Mass., was halted because of darkness Tuesday in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship at Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, N.C.

Daley, who advanced to the third round of match play a year ago, shot 73-75--148 in stroke-play qualifying Monday and Tuesday and was seeded fifth for the 64-player match-play field.

Daley and Lindsey will finish their first-round match this morning, with the winner advancing to a second-round match later today.

Dennis Iden of Costa Mesa shot 82-86--168 and did not make the match-play field.

BOOTH BOOSTS POSITION

With her career-best seventh-place finish in the Safeway LPGA Golf Championship last week in Oregon, Kellee Booth of Rancho Santa Margarita moved into third place in the LPGA rookie of the year race.

Booth has six top-20 finishes in her last 10 events, including three top 10s, and is behind Dorothy Delasin and Grace Park. The New Albany Classic this week in Ohio is the final tournament in which rookie of the year points can be earned.

Booth, who earned $21,201 for her finish last week, climbed four spots to No. 46 on the season money list with $179,375.

The top 90 on the money list earn exempt status for next season and the top 50 earn two-year exemptions.

CRANFORD WINS SCPGA

Jeff Cranford of La Quinta made a four-foot putt on the final hole to win the Southern California PGA Section Championship last week at the PGA of Southern California Golf Club in Calimesa.

Cranford, an assistant professional at The Palms in La Quinta, shot 68-70-71--209 and won by a shot over Ron Skayhan of Hillcrest Country Club.

Mike Bielsik of Fountain Valley, a professional at Whispering Lakes in Rancho Cucamonga, was the top Orange County finisher with a 219, good for an 11th-place tie. Kelly Manos of Big Canyon was a stroke behind Bielsik in 15th place and Jim Petralia of Oak Creek finished in 21st.

NOTES

Organizers of the Hyundai Team Matches are seeking volunteers to work as course marshals, walking scorers, pressroom attendants, concessions and tournament office assistants during the Dec. 15-17 event at Pelican Hill Golf Club. Information or tickets: 949-759-5175 . . . The Buy.com Tour makes its only Southern California Appearance Oct. 9-15 at Empire Lakes in Rancho Cucamonga. Tickets are $8 per day or $25 for the week. Information: (909) 948-5565.

Tee Times

A look at upcoming tournaments in the region or major events involving top regional players:

SEPTEMBER

* 25-27: SCPGA Senior Section Championship, PGA of Southern California GC, Calimesa.

* 30: Team Albertsons Invitational, Aliso Viejo GC. Benefits Muscular Dystrophy Assn. Information: (714) 550-0161.

OCTOBER

* 2: SCPGA Global Golf Apprentice Championship, PGA of Southern California GC, Calimesa.

* 2:USC Center for Athletic Medicine Foundation tournament, Sherwood CC, Thousand Oaks. Cost is $1,000. Benefits student athletes living in disadvantaged areas. Information: (626) 285-8511.

* 5-6: Los Angeles Senior Championship, Woodley Lakes GC and Hansen Dam GC.

* 9: SCPGA Golf Design Pro-Lady Club Championship, Candlewood CC.

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