Veitch goes for extension

It's good when people help you out.

Geoff Cochrane, head professional at Santa Ana Country Club, sent an e-mail about Newport Beach resident Chris Veitch qualifying for and then playing 25 holes in the first round of the U.S. Senior Amateur championship in Florida. Cochrane sent an excerpt from an Orlando Sentinel report about the match-play tournament.

Veitch and Rick Woulfe (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) tied for the second-longest match in the tournament's 56-year history, Monday at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Fla., the Sentinel reported.

Veitch was even par heading to the 25th hole – the 403-yard, par-four seventh. Woulfe prevailed with a par.

Veitch shot 81-72 (152) in qualifying rounds to reach an 11-man playoff for 10 spots. He parred the first hole to advance to match play.

Thanks Geoff and the Orlando Sentinel.

***Sage Hill School girls' golf coach Nicole Middaugh wants her players to "catch the [golfing] bug."

To facilitate this and keep the girls interested, Middaugh holds contests during practices. One of those contests is a "beat the coach" game where a player earns points for beating the coach on the course.

The points work toward prizes.

Middaugh said it's a way to create competition and make practice fun.

"I don't want [the girls] to think, 'When will [practice] end?' " Middaugh said.

Sage (2-6, 2-3 in the Academy League) has five freshmen, including Ashley Chung. Junior captain Erin Hong and Chung have each medaled three times this season.

Hong set a school record with a three-over-par 38 at Marbella Country Club in San Juan Capistrano. Hong's average is 43 while Chung's is 47.

Middaugh wants golf to seep into her players' lives. She encourages players to watch golf for 30 minutes on the weekends and practice swinging in the bedroom.

On the course, players not competing in a match will play a scramble to keep their games fresh.

Middaugh was a volunteer assistant with the UC Irvine women's golf team before coming to Sage, which plays its home matches at Rancho San Joaquin Golf Course in Irvine.

Middaugh will coach the boys in the spring.

"I want to grow this into a program, not just an afterschool team," Middaugh said.

BRYCE ALDERTON'S column appears bi-weekly. You can reach him at

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