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Fuller Brushes Aside Cho and Wins in a Playoff

November 05, 2005|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

Kylie Fuller said she could feel the pressure building and, in a momentary lapse, she let it get to her.

Fuller, a Temecula Chaparral sophomore, hit her drive far to the right on the first playoff hole of the Southern Section girls' individual championships Friday at Diamond Bar Golf Club. It kicked off of a hillside and landed near a large tree.

She regrouped, however, and hit a punch shot near the front of the green, chipped on and made a par putt. She won the title when Henna Cho of Cerritos Gahr hit her approach shot into a greenside bunker, blasted out and missed a seven-foot par putt.

"I just thought, 'Oh well, let's see what I can do,' " said Fuller, who finished 14th last year as a freshman. "And everything went my way."

Fuller made three birdies in her final six holes, including a 20-foot putt on the 17th, to catch Cho, who tied for second last year. Cho and Fuller, who played in the same group, finished regulation tied at three-under-par 70.

Cho, a senior headed to UC Irvine, said she was more nervous this year. Consecutive birdies on Nos. 12 and 13 -- her eighth and ninth holes of the day -- calmed her and she made the turn at one under and a shot ahead of Fuller.

Both birdied Nos. 17 and 18, their 13th and 14th, and Cho remained a shot ahead before Fuller's late birdie. In the playoff, Cho said she was between clubs on her approach and tried to hit a soft nine iron instead of a hard pitching wedge. She hit it too softly and it landed in a bunker.

"I'm pretty satisfied," Cho said. "I was making a lot of putts today except for that last one. I was pretty nervous because we were going for first place."

Lee Lopez of Whittier La Serna finished third with a one-under 72. Christine Cho of Crescenta Valley, Sarah Fox of Goleta Dos Pueblos, Tiffany Lua of Hacienda Heights Los Altos and Lizette Salas of Azusa each shot 73.

Fuller, whose ability to hit drives 250 yards was an advantage at 6,014-yard Diamond Bar, made her share of long putts. She made a 10-footer for birdie on No. 11 and a 15-footer on No. 17.

The top 28 finishers advance to the Southern California regional championship Nov. 14 at the SCGA Golf Course in Murrieta -- the home course for Chaparral. The list of qualifiers will not be final until after the section team finals on Nov. 10 because individuals on qualifying teams will not be counted among the 28.

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