Golfers Tee It Up in Prestigious Event

They call it the state tournament, though only half of California really competes.

The significance of the CIF/SCGA High School Invitational, though, is second to none among high school golfers.

Tiger Woods won it in 1991. Phil Mickelson took top honors in 1987. Craig Stadler won the inaugural CIF/SCGA tournament in 1971.

Today at the SCGA Members Club in Murietta, some of the Valley/Ventura County region's top golfers will compete against others from the Southern, San Diego, Central and City sections.

Russell Surber of Flintridge Prep, J.T. Kohut of Westlake, Charlie Smith of Hart and Justin Ohye of Calabasas figure to be the best bets to bring the individual title to the region, something that has never been done in the boys' tournament.

Surber has fifth and sixth place finishes the past two years. But Kohut said it would take a special performance to take home the trophy, especially because it's a one-day event.

"It's whoever shoots their career round," said the junior, who as a freshman helped Westlake to the CIF/SCGA team title.

Darrin Schneider and Eric Bean lead City section champion Granada Hills in the team competition. City Section runner-up Chatsworth is the only other area team that qualified, but no City Section team has won the tournament since Palisades in 1971.

"I don't think we can play with those guys," Schneider said after his team captured the City Section title. "This is our glory right here."

Anne Lee of Notre Dame, Krystal Shearer of Alemany and Granada Hills' talented twosome of Julie Park and Saki Uechi figure to make a run at the girls' individual title. There is no team title for girls.

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