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Peninsula Golfers Win Title

Panthers cruise to first girls' state championship by 29 strokes; West Torrance's Cochran is top individual.

November 26, 2003|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

The girls' golf team from Rolling Hills Estates Peninsula entered the state championships looking to make a statement. It turned out to be more of an exclamation.

A day after dusting the field by 30 strokes in the Southern California regional, Peninsula nearly duplicated the feat. The Panthers shot 396 Tuesday at the PGA of Southern California Champions Course in Calimesa and won the first girls' state title by 29 strokes over Goleta Dos Pueblos.

The dominant victories by Peninsula on the two grandest stages of high school golf were especially sweet because the Panthers had lost to Dos Pueblos by one stroke on Nov. 13 in the Southern Section championships.

"I think we wanted to prove something not only to the other schools, but to ourselves," Peninsula Coach Bob Wilton said. "We were kind of shocked by the whole thing at [the section championships]. We vowed to make these two days a send-off for our seniors."

Peninsula had proven plenty during an undefeated regular season. The Panthers shot 188 in a nine-hole match and 374 -- believed to be a section record -- in an 18-hole tournament. They shot a playoff-record 377 to win the Central Divisional, but shot 402 and lost by a stroke at the section finals.

Senior Annika Windon led Peninsula with a four-over-par 76 on Tuesday. Junior Shannon Yocum shot 77 and her sister, sophomore Stephanie, shot 79, giving Peninsula three of the 14 sub-80 scores.

Amie Cochran of West Torrance shot 72, then made a par on the first playoff hole to win the individual title. Cochran, a senior who has signed with UCLA, also repeated her victory from a day earlier.

"It's nice to go out with a bang," Cochran said. "I hadn't won anything until now, so this is nice redemption."

Cochran won the Southern California regional Monday by five shots and threatened to run away with the state title as well.

She made three consecutive birdies on holes nine through 11 to get to three under and then hit the shot of the tournament -- a driver to within 20 feet on the 310-yard, par-four 13th. Things soon went awry with her putter, however.

She three-putted that green for par then three-putted from 10 feet for bogey on the next. She also had a bogey on No. 16 -- a par five -- and missed a short par putt on 18.

Three bogeys in the final five holes put her in a playoff against Joanne Lee, a freshman from Belmont Carlmont.

Cochran two-putted from 50 feet for par. Lee hit into a fairway bunker and missed an eight-foot par putt.

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