Golf: Freshmen bolster CdM, Newport

Coaches from both Newport Harbor High and Corona del Mar say they face challenging league matches, but both Newport's Scott Tarnow and CdM's Mike Starkweather are excited about entering freshmen to face those challenges.

Newport Harbor faces a stern test once Sunset League play begins according to Tarnow.

The Sailors will face the likes of Edison, Fountain Valley and Los Alamitos, whom Tarnow said all have a "game-changing" player. Newport has two returners off a team that finished .500 last season. Charlotte Skjonsby, who placed fifth at league finals as a senior last fall, and Lauren Willard are both continuing golf at Santa Barbara City College.

Senior Tara Hanna begins her fourth varsity season while Hannah Perry returns. Junior Christina Ferraro, sophomore Bowie Viloria, with freshmen Tehya Corona and Grace Ferrell compose Newport's season-opening lineup.

Tarnow has much praise for Ferrell, who attended Ensign Intermediate School. She finished third of seven players at five-over par (73-72 – 145) in the girls' 12-14 division at the Costa Mesa Junior Tournament earlier this month. The tournament was held at Costa Mesa Country Club's Mesa Linda course.

"She loves [golf] and wants to be really good," Tarnow said.

An example of Ferrell's poise came when she played at Big Canyon Country Club.

Tarnow said she had a quadruple-bogey on the first hole, but rebounded to shoot one-over-par through the remaining eight holes.

"Not too many incoming ninth-graders keep their cool like that," Tarnow said.

Newport was dealt a blow when Amelia Thomas decided to concentrate on fashion modeling.

"We are one player short and that makes all the difference in golf," Tarnow said.

Newport opened the season with a 217-246 loss to host Dana Hills at El Niguel Country Club Wednesday.

The Sailors have a match against Estancia Sept. 12 at Santa Ana Country Club, and the league opener against Edison Sept. 13. The Sailors are also entered into the Estancia Tournament Sept. 17 at Costa Mesa Country Club.

At CdM, senior Emily Turner returns for her fourth varsity season and will be captain, Starkweather said.

"She is the most experienced of all the kids," Starkweather said. "She is mentally stable and her scores hold the line between the high 30s and low 40s. Last year she was the only girl with any varsity experience."

Starkweather said freshman Amy Matsuoka should be near the top of the lineup after performing well during tryouts. Matsuoka has shined of late, winning the girls' 12-14 age division at the Bridgestone Summer Championship (a Southern California PGA junior event) by seven strokes, shooting two-under-par 142 (73-69) on the Palms Course at Menifee Lakes Country Club. Earlier in August Matsuoka shot five-under (69-66 – 135) to win the same age division in the Costa Mesa Junior Championship at Costa Mesa Country Club.

CdM also welcomes junior Karlie Moses, who transferred from La Costa Canyon. Moses was named second-team All-Avocado West League last fall according to the North County Times.

The Sea Kings also have junior Ann Kim, a Pacific Coast League finalist last season according to Starkweather, junior Kelley King, and sophomores Hanna Hogan and Lauren Nakamura. Vying for positions will be juniors Katherine Webb, a varsity returner, and Rafah Ali. Sophomore Taylor Daoust moved up from junior varsity and has played well recently, Starkweather said.

Starkweather said a record 18 girls came out during tryouts. He would like to have 14 as a way to keep kids involved with the game. Scores from players in the last six spots are really close, he said.

CdM opened with a 195-200 loss to Dana Hills at Monarch Beach Golf Links Thursday.

Starkweather said last year was a rebuilding year and hopes CdM will be one of the three Pacific Coast League teams to reach CIF, and send as many girls to the individual final. CdM is in a league with reining CIF Southern Section Southern Team Regional champ Northwood, as well as Beckman, University and Woodbridge.

BRYCE ALDERTON is the golf writer for the Daily Pilot. He can be reached at

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World