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High Schools | SPOTLIGHT / Girls' Golf : NOTES

Top-Notch Field Is Back in the Section Final

November 12, 2001|Peter Yoon

With the Southern Section team championships in the books, the attention of girls' golfers shifts this week to individual play--specifically the section finals Thursday at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs.

Twice in the last three years, the field for the girls' section final was depleted because many of the top players skipped the high school championships so they could play in the American Junior Golf Assn. Polo Golf Classic, an invitation-only tournament that can have implications on college recruiting and national junior rankings.

But thanks to some wheeling and dealing this year, the Southern Section moved its championship a week earlier to avoid the conflict.

"We were very fortunate that Mission Lakes allowed us to play on a Thursday," Southern Section Commissioner Jim Staunton said. "Otherwise we might have had the same problem."

Changing the dates will allow top players such as Erica Blasberg of Corona, ranked No. 11 in the nation by Golfweek Magazine, and No. 17 Irene Cho of Sunny Hills, to play the high school championship.

Blasberg and Cho, both seniors, attend schools that do not have girls' golf teams, but are allowed to compete in individual events. They both played in the Southern Section championships as sophomores and both finished in the top 10.

Freshman Summer Scholl of Riverside Martin Luther King is another player to watch from a school that does not have a team.

Their presence strengthens a field that will include eight players who finished in the top 10 a year ago, including Amie Cochran of West Torrance, Carling Cho of Dana Point Dana Hills and Priscilla Park of Villa Park, all of whom tied for second last year. Karen Lotta of Marymount, the 2000 champion, graduated last spring.

Carling Cho, who shot a tournament-best 68 in the team finals last week, and Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana of Long Beach Wilson, who shot 69, enter the tournament on hot streaks.

Angela Won of Irvine University, who finished fifth last year, is also playing well. She shot under par for two rounds in her league final and was medalist in the Southern Divisional team qualifier, though her team did not reach the finals.

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No shows: Several top-ranked players are not entered in the tournament, including Jane Park, formerly of Crescenta Valley and ranked No. 23 in the nation.

Crescenta Valley Coach John Pehar said Park withdrew from school and has moved.

Sarah Jones of Newhall Hart, ranked No. 70, pulled out of the Foothill League finals because of a back injury and did not qualify for the section finals

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