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Corona del Mar cruises past rival Newport Harbor
COSTA MESA – The Corona del Mar girls golf team got another victory on Thursday at Costa Mesa Country Club, but Coach Mike Starkweather knows the Sea Kings are going to have to improve quite a bit to have a chance to win the Pacific Coast League championship.
Alyaa Abdulghany and Celine Niu each carded a 2-over-par 37 on the front nine of the Mesa Linda course to help Corona del Mar cruise past Newport Harbor 202-276.
A 202 is a respectable score no doubt, and it equaled the best score that the Sea Kings have posted so far in this young season.
Corona del Mar, however, is in one of the deepest girls golf leagues in the CIF-SS. And the Sea Kings' main competition in the PCL is University, which has broken 200 in each of its three matches so this fall.
The Trojans finished 1-over-par as a team last month, shooting a 176 at Aliso Viejo Country Club, giving them a 184.6 nine-hole scoring average.
“I am not happy with the 202. I would love to see them at 195,” Starkweather said. “But it is the beginning of the season, and they are working hard.”
Starkweather kept them at the practice facility at Newport Beach County Club for close to three hours on Wednesday.
“We were working on everything and got carried away,” he said. “We didn’t even get to go to the putting green.”
Newport Harbor has been working hard too, this season, electing to put time in on the range instead of playing in matches. Wednesday’s loss was the season opener for the Sailors.
Newport Harbor lost seven players from last year's team, leaving Coach Scott Tarnow with an inexperienced roster. Some of his players are just learning the game, so rather than compete in a nine-hole match in which they might shoot 40 or 50 strokes, he said he’d rather have them hit 200 balls in practice.
Sophomore Nicole Nesbitt is the only girl who returned to Sailors this season, and she led Newport Harbor with a 41.