When temperatures start creeping toward the 100-degree mark, most
normal people seek refuge in air-conditioned buildings or find the
nearest body of water in an attempt to stay cool.
Then there are golfers.
A group of 111 dedicated young athletes battled hot weather and
humidity Thursday to compete in the Southern California Golfers’
Assn. 14th annual Burbank Junior City Championship at De Bell
Municipal Golf Course.
For some participants, the heat and humidity was a major
distraction, while others had no problem dealing with the weather.
“No weather should affect your game, as long as you keep a
positive attitude and concentrate on what you have to do,” Nathaniel
Ancheta of Quartz Hill said . “I just try and stay focused and not
try and think about different things around me. That’s the way you’ve
got to go at it.”
Darlene Dognot of Sylmar agreed: “You shouldn’t let things like
the weather get to your head. As soon as it gets to your head, your
game is gone and it just goes out the window.
“You can’t control the weather. You have to just try and play your
Golfer Shannon Yocum of Palos Verdes said Thursday’s temperature
in the upper 90s was nothing to her.
“I’m kind of used to it,” she said. “I just came from playing in
the desert for like the last two weeks, and it was like 110 degrees
out there. So it really wasn’t too bad today. There was even a nice
little breeze today.”
Sweating and red from a day in the sun, Anthony Phillips of
Valencia slowly walked off the course after finishing his round.
Although Phillips said he enjoyed taking part in the tournament, he
was also bothered by the weather.
“It was pretty humid out there and it was pretty sticky,” “I just
tried to drink a lot of water to try and stay cool, but that was
Along with the hot temperature, there were also some sizzling
performances turned in by the young golfers.
However, no one could top the effort by 12-year-old Daniel
Inocencio of Baldwin Park, who accomplished a rare hole in one.
On the 222-yard par-3 16th hole, Inocencio used a driver to hit
his shot. The ball landed on the left side of the green, bit and
rolled into the hole.
“It felt really good when it went in. I couldn’t believe I made
it,” Inocencio said. “This is my first hole in one and it’s great.”
The hole in one, along with five birdies, helped Inocencio shoot a
one-over-par 72, good enough to win the boys’ 12-13 division. He also
tied Ben Selig for the lowest score of the day.
Selig’s 72 earned him one of the tournament’s highest honors, as
he was the boys’ low gross champion.
The best local finisher was Burroughs High’s Jeff Looby, who will
be a sophomore. Looby placed first in the boys’ 14-15 division,
firing a 74.
“For me, the heat wasn’t the most difficult thing for me today,”
said Looby, who qualified for the CIF Southern Section postseason
last season as a freshman. “In the middle of my round it was really
windy, and that wasn’t too good.
“I didn’t play very well today. I hit it really well on the front
[nine holes] and had some good shots, but I hit two really bad shots
out of bounds and that cost me a lot. On the back nine, I only hit
one good shot. I also really didn’t feel comfortable with my putter
For the youngest golfers, Alex Ferman shot a two-over par 39 to
win the boys’ under-11 division and Monica Petchakan fired a 49 to
capture the girls’ under-11 title.
In the girls’ 15-17 division, Saugus’ Melanie De Leon finished
first with a 75 and Phillip Horwith shot a 73 to win the boys’ 16-17
division. In the girls’ 12-14 division, Grace Chung won the title
with a 78. De Leon was the girls’ overall low-gross winner.
All the first-place and low-gross winners qualify for the SCPGA
Championship on Aug. 25 at the PGA of Southern California Golf Course
at Oak Valley in Calimesa.
De Bell golf professional Scott Scozzola -- who played in the
local tournament as a youth -- said the event has always been able to
attract a good turnout.
“When I was playing in the SCPGA events, there was only one tour,
but now there’s three they can play,” he said. “The more tournaments
the young golfers take part in, the sharper their skills will be.
“Some of the kids are members of all three tours and they play
three, four or five tournaments a week during the summer. If there
could play two in a day they would.”