at age 11, remembers when his Sea Kings wore knickers to school his
senior year on days of matches to increase program awareness on campus.
"It brought some attention to us, I guess," he said. "At first (the
idea) got thrashed (by student opinions), then they started thinking it
was pretty cool."
A seven-time Irvine Coast Country Club junior champion from 1977
through '83, Wright was CdM's No. 1 man during its Sea View League
championship season in '82. Coach Jack Errion's squad, also led by senior
captain Ted Norby and senior Cary Spindoni, defeated Foothill by one
stroke for the CIF Southern Division title.
But CdM, of all schools, had a funding problem and golf was on the
verge of being dropped. "But we hung on," Wright said. "I think our coach
pretty much did it for nothing."
Errion, Bob Boaz and Herb Wilson, a volunteer and Irvine Coast member,
were CdM's coaches, while the late Ray Haines discovered Wright hitting
balls off the tee one day and started giving him lessons. Haines, who
also taught Gary McCord and Don Pooley, never charged the young Wright a
"(Haines) was the biggest catalyst to my golf (career)," said Wright,
who made a hole in one while playing with his parents for the first time,
triggering encouragement for him to play more and travel the junior
Wright, who won numerous junior titles, enjoyed a big year in '82,
including a victory in the Southern California Junior Championship at
Santa Ana Country Club -- six rounds of match play.
Strong in the short game, Wright shot 76 in the CIF individual finals
for the Sea Kings in '82, finishing in the top 20 in Southern California.
In 1983, Wright had another big year, winning the Sea View League
individual title, earning team MVP honors and being selected as a member
of the All-American team of the American Junior Golf Association.
In the California State Amateur that year at Cypress Point Golf Club
in Pebble Beach, Wright shot a career-best 69 in the opening round to end
the day tied for second place with Greg Twiggs, one of many future PGA