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PREP GOLF: PALISADES IS LOOKING TOUGH AGAIN.

Byline: Dave Shelburne Staff Writer

Granada Hills and Chatsworth are expected to lead the area competition against City Section golf champion Palisades when the resurgent Dolphins open defense of their 12th City title Tuesday at Griffith Park.

The 36-hole tournament, scheduled for the par-72 Wilson and Harding courses, concludes Wednesday. Twelve teams and 112 golfers are entered in the two-day competition that will advance the top two teams and top 10 individuals not on those teams to the June 6 CIF/SCGA Championship at SCGA Members Club in Murietta.

City 6-A League co-champions Granada Hills and Chatsworth and 5-A League champion Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies could present the biggest challenge for Palisades, which finished third in 6-A League but is playing its best golf entering the postseason.

The Dolphins, paced by defending City individual champion Edward Turner, won Thursday's 6-A League team and individual titles - Turner shooting 4-over-par 76 at windy River Ridge to lead Palisades (399) to a three-stroke victory over runner-up Chatsworth.

``They look tough,'' Birmingham coach Chick Epstein said of the Dolphins, who also got a 77 from Andrew Van Ellesten at River Ridge.

``I'm picking Pali because of Turner,'' said Chatsworth coach Dick Pendergast, whose Chancellors (14-1, 11-1) edged the Dolphins 392-394 in a final league match two weeks ago at Knollwood Country Club.

Palisades enters the City final with history on its side. No City program was more successful than the Dolphins before they discontinued golf from the 1991 through '96 seasons. Since their return four years ago, they have produced three straight individual City champions - Burley Stamps in 1997 and '98 and Turner last year as a freshman with a brilliant final round of 65 to edge Birmingham's Scott Bashian by a stroke.

The Dolphins also won the '99 team title, outdistancing Granada Hills, which had dominated City during Palisades' absence, winning six team championships and three individual titles (all by Darren Angel) during the '90s.

This year's Granada Hills team was led by Mike Ross (78) and Steve Harsha (79) in the 6-A League final, but the Highlanders' strongest asset might be their depth. Coach Joe White has received medalist efforts from most of his starters during an 11-1 league run and could get strong play this week from any or all in a top seven including Shawn Fried, Jeff Spry, Richard Pak, Steve Yoo and sophomore Phil Martinez.

Chatsworth, which won City in 1996 to deny Granada Hills a seven-year title run, also has depth. The Chancellors got 79s from Adam Petrocilli and Josh McIntire in the 6-A League final but also have solid players in Sean Kinsman, Scott Johnston and sophomores Brett Potter and Josh Lottman.

Birmingham could be a factor in the competition for individual berths with Eric Drugenmuller - runner-up to Pali's Turner by a stroke in the league final - and sophomore Jacob Fagfoomsintu.

Epstein, who has coached golf at Birmingham since the program started at that school and includes former U.S. Amateur champion Mitch Voges among his past players, rates Fagfoomsintu with the longest hitters ever to play at Birmingham.

``He can hit the ball as far as anyone,'' Epstein said. ``I haven't had a kid that could hit the ball at that age as well as this kid.''

City Section play is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. both days.

--Southern Section final: Hot-shooting Tommy Barber of Notre Dame leads a contingent of 13 area golfers into today's Southern Section individual championship, scheduled for an 8 a.m. shotgun start at Canyon Country Club in Palm Springs.

Barber, one of the area's longer hitters, has been on a tear lately. He shot 4 over par to successfully defend his Mission League title in 36-hole competition three weeks ago at Griffith Park. Then he shared medalist honors at 2-under 70 in the Northern Divisional team qualifier two weeks ago at Soule Park in Ojai. And last week, he shot 3-under 68 for the second-best score in individual sectional qualifying at Montecito CC in Santa Barbara.

Barber will be one of seven area league champions competing in today's 72-player field at Canyon Country Club, where the top 22 scorers earn berths to the June 6 CIF/SCGA Championship at Murietta.

Roy Moon, a two-time Marmonte League champion and the top area scorer (third) in last year's Southern Section final, also will be in Palm Springs. So will Campbell Hall's Anthony Kim (Delphic League champion), Hart's Brian Edick (Foothill), Village Christian's Ryan Benko (Alpha) and Jeff Osborn of Flintridge Prep and Viewpoint's Ali Siam (Prep League co-champs).

Other area finalists today are Mark Modglin (Simi Valley), Doug Miller (Westlake), Justin Ohye (Calabasas), Ryo Yamada (Loyola) and the Quartz Hill tandem of Jim Elford and Jacob Courtier.

AREA SOUTHERN SECTION FINALISTS

Today at Canyon CC, Palm Springs - par 72

With qualifying scores from May 15 Northern Regional at Montecito CC

Player School Score

Tommy Barber Notre Dame 68

Anthony Kim Campbell Hall 71

Brian Edick Hart 72

Mark Modglin Simi Valley 72

Jeff Osborn Flintridge Prep 72

Justin Ohye Calabasas 73

Roy Moon Royal 74

Ali Siam Viewpoint 74

Ryo Yamada Loyola 75

Doug Miller Westlake 75

Jim Elford Quartz Hill 75

Jacob Courtier Quartz Hill 76

Ryan Benko Village Christian 76

CAPTION(S):

photo, box

Photo: Tommy Barber of Notre Dame High is a combined 1 under par in his past three tournaments.

David Sprague/Staff Photographer

Box: Area Southern Section finalists (see text)
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 22, 2000
Words:907
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