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By Steve Breazeale
When the San Clemente girls golf team teed up at the Palm Desert High School Tournament on Sept. 6, they faced grueling temperatures that reached 105 degrees at one point. The travel and heat somewhat affected the Tritons in the first round, but on the second day of competition, five out of the team’s six players flipped the script and bettered their score from the first day. San Clemente went on to finish fifth at the tournament thanks to their efforts in the second round.
Head coach Mike Hurlbut stressed that his team’s ability to adapt and improve from round to round is among their strongest attributes.
They also have some strong veteran golfers.
In just their second nonleague contest on Sept. 11, the Tritons looked to be in midseason form in a 193-239 victory over Capistrano Valley at Talega Golf Course. Three Tritons shot 39 (+4), Madi Weideman shot 38 (+3) and senior Alex Cooper carded a 36 (+1).
Cooper, Weideman, Juliet Duralde and Isabella Seeburger all return from last year’s team, which placed third in the South Coast League and advanced to the CIF-SS Team Championships. In all, seven players return.
“We have a veteran group, and we’ve been looking forward to their junior, senior years because they’ve been together so long and been through the battles and come up a little short a couple of times,” Hurlbut said. “This season they’re looking to come out on top.”
Freshman Olivia French has provided a spark to the rotation, flashing signs of her ability with rounds of 87-83 at the Palm Desert Tournament.
The Tritons focus in league play this season will be protecting their home course. Because the Tritons have an edge playing regularly at Bella Collina Towne & Golf Club, they will need to take advantage of their course knowledge when they play there, then try to sneak a few road victories along the way if they want to improve on last year’s effort in league, Hurlbut said.
Date Opponent Location, Time
9/18* Tesoro Bella Collina, 2 p.m.
9/23* Dana Hills El Niguel CC, 2:30 p.m.
9/25* Dana Hills/Palm Desert Bella Collina, 2 p.m.
9/26 Rainbow Sandals Invit. SC Municipal, 12:30 p.m.
9/29 LB Wilson Tourn. Recreation Park, 7 a.m.
10/7* Aliso Niguel Bella Collina, 2:30 p.m.
10/9* Aliso Niguel El Niguel CC, 2:30 p.m.
10/14* San Juan Hills Bella Collina, 2:30 p.m.
10/16* San Juan Hills San Juan Hills GC, 2:30 p.m.
10/20-21* SCL Finals TBA, TBA
10/27 CIF Individual Dad Miller GC, 8 a.m.
10/30 CIF Team Costa Mesa CC, 8 a.m.
*–denotes league match