Corona del Mar High boys' golf coach Mike Starkweather has reason to be giddy.
The Sea Kings began the week 16-0, the best start in team history with the season nearing the final turn before CIF play.
The Sea Kings have seniors John Davenport, whom Starkweather said is headed to Columbia to play golf, and Mike Moorhead, a USC commit, with junior Chase Wheatley. Starkweather said Wheatley is recording low round after low round. Brian Mull, Hale Furey and Karick Brown are also part of the Sea Kings' lineup.
The key, Starkweather said, is chemistry.
"The boys are coaching each other," he said. "They are helping with swings and analyzing shots."
The coaching happens mostly on the driving range.
"They'll say, 'Your alignment is off' or, 'Your ball flight is different than normal,'" Starkweather said of typical suggestions.
"I'd rather let them teach each other because it's their team," Starkweather said.
He had a competitive group last year. The Sea Kings finished 21-1 and haven't lost a Pacific Coast League match in two years. CdM placed sixth of 21 teams at the CIF Southern Section Team Championship in 2011 and has its sights set on even greater things this year.
Wheatley is a large part of the success thus far. The junior has earned medalist honors in 12 of 16 matches this season, Starkweather said. In nine nonleague rounds, Wheatley has shot under par eight times.
Starkweather also mentioned Furey, who ran track last spring, but turned to golf this season.
"He's one of the most devoted golfers I've seen," Starkweather said of Furey.
CdM played in the Champions Invitational Tournament at the Golf Club at Terra Lago in Indio this week, which had both team and individual competitions.
The Sea Kings finished sixth of 32 schools with a 911 in the 54-hole tournament. Santa Margarita won the team title at 879.
Wheatley and Furey tied for 16th at seven-over-par 223. Wheatley shot 73-77-73 while Furey shot 74-77-72. Moorhead finished at 233 with rounds of 78-78-77, while Davenport (77-81-78), Mull (78-77-81) and Brown (79-82-75) all shot 236.
Beau Hossler from Santa Margarita won the individual crown by three shots at nine-under (65-68-74 — 207).
Golfers played both north and south courses at Terra Lago, each a par 72.
The Sea Kings have three matches next week, including Wednesday's home match against Villa Park at 2:30 p.m. at Newport Beach Country Club.
UC Irvine men's golf team takes to the road for the 66th Western Intercollegiate championship Saturday and Sunday at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.
UCI, off a 12th-place finish at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, faces a stern test. The 54-hole Western Intercollegiate features seven of the top 15 teams in Golfstat's Division I rankings from Wednesday. The list includes No. 1 Texas, fourth-ranked Cal, USC and UCLA, ranked fifth and sixth, respectively.
UCI will then gear up to host the Anteater Invitational April 23 and 24 at Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine.
BRYCE ALDERTON is the golf writer for the Daily Pilot. He can be reached at email@example.com.