Unusually high scores dominated the score sheet, on day one of Orange Empire Conference finals. Players battled to outscore teammates in what appeared to be a frantic scramble to move up on the all-conference rankings on Monday at Los Serranos in Chino Hills.
IVC sophomore Foya Lazare and freshman Sally Kim were expected to each score close to even par 74's on the North Course.
The duo is battling for the top position in the individual rankings in the OEC. Lazare posted an 81 and Kim an 83. Lazare's score moved her 1 stroke ahead of Kim to take over the lead in their battle to win the conference scoring championship.
Freshman Halle Young's 81 tied Saddleback's alternate sixth player as medalist for the day.
Sophomore Toni Honnes, IVC's alternate sixth player, scored a 91 to complete IVC's first day total of 337.
The Lasers have already wrapped up the conference title. Saddleback's total was 353.
Fullerton came in at 386 and Cuyamaca finished at 445. Santa Ana did not qualify to post a team score with only two players competing.
Irvine Valley Coach Ben Burnett felt that his Lasers and Saddleback both scored about 20 team strokes higher than expected.
"This was a good lesson for each member of the team," Burnett said. "He reminded the team that when you try too hard or place too much importance on what you scored on the last hole, you lose the focus needed to execute strategy and good course management. The team knows that Saddleback can't beat IVC (in the final standings). Only when we loses focus do we open the door to the possibility of being upset."
IVC finishes the conference finals on Wednesday at Los Serranos.
Burnett said the team will then meet with sports psychologist Dr. David Wright, PGA, on Friday.
"It appears to be very timely as the team prepares to attempt the defense of its state title through the So. Cal. Regionals Nov. 7 and 8 at the Twin Oaks Golf Course in San Marcos," Burnett said.