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Golf: Seven up!

April 20, 2000

Richard Dunn

With a flock of seven children under her wing, Colette Taormina of

Big Canyon Country Club doesn't have any time to waste.

If she's not playing with her family, Taormina plays mostly in

tournaments, even though she hardly practices.

"I have to have a reason to play golf," said Taormina, who captured her

first women's club championship last week in a Tigeresque comeback on the

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back nine.

Coming from seven strokes down in the last nine holes to tie defending

club champion Sally Holstein, Taormina won a sudden-death playoff -- the

first playoff in Big Canyon history for a club championship -- and earned

her way into the prestigious Tea Cup Classic.

So, for the third time in as many years, Big Canyon will be represented

by a different player in the Tea Cup, the summertime golf tradition for

the women's club champions in the Corona del Mar-Newport Beach-Costa Mesa

triangle.

Taormina, a Newport Coast resident whose large family has been with Big

Canyon since November 1998, will get the opportunity to play her home

course at the fourth annual Tea Cup Classic Aug. 11.

Each of the four private clubs in the area rotate as host site of the

event, which has been part of the Fletcher Jones Motorcars/Daily Pilot

Club Championship Series, and the 2000 Tea Cup Classic will be hosted by

Big Canyon.

"That's what everyone's telling me," Taormina said of her club

championship, which awards an automatic berth into the Tea Cup. "I've

never watched (the Tea Cup) before, but I've read about it in the

newspaper. I'm not sure what to anticipate. I don't know if I should

start getting nervous now or about mid-July. I guess people come out and

watch this."

Taormina, whose primary instructor is Mesa Verde Country Club head pro

Tom Sargent, has been playing golf for about 12 years and been a member

at PGA West in La Quinta for 10. Her husband, Vince, started her in the

game.

"It's a great family sport," she said. "My husband and I can go out and

play and do something together as a couple. It's been a wonderful sport."

Taormina, who won her first club championship, and Holstein were tied at

342 after 72 holes. Martha Redfearn shot 343 and finished third.

Taormina, who started the final round in third place five shots off the

lead, birdied 17, but was still two strokes behind heading into 18.

Holstein's approach shot at 18 landed in a bunker, then her sand shot

rolled into the water on the difficult finishing hole to open the door

for Taormina.

Taormina won the playoff hole when Holstein's second shot hit the lake.

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