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Cats win Broken Spoke Invitational

September 05, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

Coming off a league MVP season, Brawley Union High School's Alissa Koon kicked off the 2001 season just as she ended 2000 — ahead of her competition.

The reigning Imperial Valley League player of the year shot a 44 at the Broken Spoke Country Club in El Centro to lead Brawley to a win at the Broken Spoke Invitational on Tuesday.

"It was definitely a good way to start the season, considering what I shot in my first match last year," said the 17-year-old senior, who shot in the 60s in her first event last season. "My chipping was not good at all, but I was happy with my putts. I think if I would've slowed down, I probably could've done better."

While she finished with a 44 on the nine-hole, par-32 course, three strokes ahead of the runnerup, what was disappointing to Koon was she shot a 37 on the same course about a month and a half ago during an Imperial Valley Junior Golf Association tournament.

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Her 44 led a Brawley squad that shot a combined 189 finishing, well ahead of Central Union High's second-place score of 215.

"I know that I have to keep this up, because if I do good, I know that I'm helping the rest of the team," said Koon. "So when I go out there, I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to do well.

"I'm really hard on myself because I'm a perfectionist. I think I automatically take charge out there and just lead by example."

Koon's leadership by example paid off Tuesday as three of her teammates shot in the 40s. Valerie Cornejo finished second with a 47 and teammates Amanda Curiel and Vanessa Zendejas both carded 49s.

"I really did expect a good round out of her today," said Brawley coach Mike Romero said of Koon. "She still has a few things to work, like being consistent in the middle of the fairway. Once she does that, then she'll shoot in the 40s on a regular basis. We're just trying to give her an opportunity to be MVP again."

Central's Clarissa Maldonado led the Spartans with a 48, followed by 55s from Cynthia Jimenez and Claudia Maldonado and a 57 from Stephanie Schuler.

Led by 54s from Courtney Mouser and Laura Osborne, Southwest took third with a team score of 223. Cori Huerta shot a 55 and Christine Strahm turned in a 60 for the Eagles.

Also competing were Holtville and Palo Verde, but neither was able to field a foursome, taking both out of team contention.

Added Romero: "I think our girls played better than I expected. The first match of the year is usually rough, but our girls were well prepared for it. Doing this well sets our expectations higher, but it also puts a target on our backs. I think we may be the team to beat, but we're going to accept that challenge."

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