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Stock on the rise for Tea Cup Classic's Colette Taormina (Big

August 07, 2000

Canyon Country Club)

Richard Dunn

NEWPORT BEACH - In four months since Colette Taormina won the

ladies club championship at Big Canyon Country Club, her handicap index

has dropped from 11 to 5.

But it has been since Taormina qualified for the Tea Cup Classic that

her life has really changed.

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"I have people coming up to me, telling me I didn't know you were even

a golfer, or I didn't know you were that good," said Taormina, whose

little slice of fame appears to have arrived in the form of Tea Cup

Classic IV, as she is hailed in these pages along with three other

women's club champions in this newspaper's circulation.

"Teachers at school read (the Daily Pilot articles) and mention it to

my kids, and I think it has brought my kids closer to golf, because

there's just that excitement. Both of my two sons (Garrett, 13, and

Jordan, 11) have really gotten back into golf again because of it ...

now, they're trying to figure out who is going to caddie for me. It's

going to be one of those two or my husband (Vince)."

Taormina, who has seven children, a Tea Cup Classic record for the

women competitors, started playing golf because of her husband. Vince

apparently begged hard enough and one day she played golf with him.

Mostly, they played together on vacations, then she started getting

the hang of it and suddenly she was scoring pretty well. "My husband and

I can go out and play golf and do something together as a couple,"

Taormina said. "It's been wonderful."

The 2000 Big Canyon women's club champion, a Newport Coast resident

who has one girl and six boys between the ages of 17 and 6, has gradually

progressed in her 12 years of playing and now, at 45, she's at the top of

her game.

"It seems really difficult for me to imagine that I'm playing to that

level," said Taormina, who was never encouraged to play sports growing up

in Portland, Ore.

A newcomer to the Tea Cup Classic, Taormina plays in the Big Canyon

upper echelon with Sally Holstein, the '99 Tea Cup Classic participant at

Mesa Verde Country Club, Martha Redfearn and Jeana Kawamura.

In Tea Cup Classic IV, Taormina will play her home course (Big Canyon)

Friday at 2 p.m. in the annual 18-hole shootout to celebrate women's golf

in the Newport-Mesa community.

"I feel honored to play in this group," said Taormina, who will tee it

up with two-time defending Tea Cup champion Marianne Towersey (Santa Ana

Country Club), Denise Woodard (Mesa Verde Country Club) and Debbie

Albright (Newport Beach Country Club).

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