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BIG FIELD FOR PASADENA TOURNEY.

Byline: DAVE SHELBURNE Golf

One of the longest-running amateur tournaments in the state gets under way next week with the return of the Pasadena City Championship, which will celebrate its 70th anniversary at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena.

The competition, which includes 72 holes of Thursday-Sunday championship-flight play and six flights of 36-hole weekend net play, has attracted another capacity turnout.

``It's a very good field,'' said tournament director and longtime Brookside Men's Club fixture Rob Moore, back for his 26th year running one of the largest and most popular tournaments in the area.

``The usual suspects will be there,'' Moore said of this year's championship flight. ``(Defending champion) Keith Kinsel, (four-time SCGA Amateur champion) Craig Steinberg, (1996 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion and 1999 state amateur champion) Tim Hogarth ... lots of good public-links guys. We get a really nice group of players every year - 15 or 20 of the top players who play in the all the top events.''

Moore, 50, who has taken several turns as both president and board member of Brookside Men's Club, has been involved with the men's club since the early 1970s and has teamed with Brookside veterans Wayne Dockery and Dave Hochenedel in organizing the past 25 Pasadena City Championships.

The event, held annually on Brookside's par-72, 7,037-yard C.W. Koiner and par-70, 6,046-yard E.O. Nay courses, fills quickly every year, and this year is no exception.

``We've got more than 600 entries this year,'' said Kevin Burchett, one of the more than 50 club members helping Moore put together and run the 70th Pasadena City.

Moore, who grew up on a golf course - Green Valley Country Club in Napa - has never strayed far from golf even while playing shortstop in the Burbank leagues during the final years of fast-pitch softball's glory era.

He always managed at least a round of golf a week and got more into golf as his double-play skills dwindled. Moore wound up serving a record four terms as Brookside Men's Club president and will be pulling double duty next week when he returns to a championship flight in which he has yet to make the cut.

``I'm kinda the Jack Lemmon of Brookside,'' said Moore, whose career-low handicap index of 2.8 has risen to 3.8 but still beats the championship-flight cutoff of 3.9. ``I've never qualified for the finals in my own tournament.''

That hasn't prevented Moore from having special memories of the event:

Brandt Jobe playing in 1988 after helping UCLA win its only NCAA team title in golf. ...

James Waldorf - father of the former Taft High of Woodland Hills star and later college Player of the Year at UCLA - returning year after year to play in the Pasadena City. ...

Kinsel shooting 72-67-71-73-283 to win by a stroke last year and become the first Brookside member to win the championship. ...

For that matter, having himself back in the championship the past few years has to rank as a special memory for the popular tournament director Brooksiders call ``Bubba'' - considering he underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery eight years ago.

Moore rallied from that to get back in a tough field on a tough course and return to a tournament job he loves, even though it can be hectic in the organizational stages.

``It's never easy,'' Moore said, ``but it does become routine because we do the same thing every year.''

Early winter planning, for example, is all too familiar for Moore:

``Every year I'm excited when January starts and worn out when it's over,'' he said. ``But what's nice is we have the same people doing the same things for so many years. That's what's neat about it - me, Dave and Wayne doing it together for 25 years.''

That kind of continuity, and the fact Brookside is in its best condition of the year almost every year for this tournament, are big reasons the Pasadena City has remained so popular approaching its eighth decade.

--Prep playoffs: Individual postseason play for area Southern Section golfers starts Monday at River Ridge GC in Oxnard, where the top 24 advance to the May 23 section final at Canyon Country Club in Palm Springs. The top 28 there move on to CIF/CSGA, where the top six qualify for state.

Top individual prospects include seniors Brett Kanda of Flintridge Prep of La Canada Flintridge and Ben Fox of Oakwood of North Hollywood - both six under par for the season and both headed to NCAA Division I colleges on golf scholarships.

Kanda, a three-time Southern Section finalist bound for UNLV, has finished at least tied for first in every high school match he has played this year. Arizona-bound Fox does not have a high school team but has reached the past two section finals and last year's CIF/SCGA Championship as an individual qualifier.

He opened his 2005 high school season last week by winning his third consecutive section individual-qualifier tournament, shooting 6-under-par 65 in a bogey-free round at Rio Hondo Golf Club in Downey.

CAPTION(S):

photo, box

Photo:

Vijay Sing

Box:

ON THE GREEN

BY DAVE SHELBURNE
COPYRIGHT 2005 Daily News
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Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 11, 2005
Words:853
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