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Golf: Tea warming up for local ladies

May 03, 2001

Richard Dunn

All but one spot has been filled for the fifth annual Tea Cup

Classic, the locally famous women's golf spectacular which showcases the

four club champions in the Daily Pilot circulation.

Following Olivia Slutzky's inaugural title at Big Canyon Country Club

to gain an automatic berth into Tea Cup Classic V this summer, two others

captured titles -- Mesa Verde Country Club's Denise Woodard and Santa Ana

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Country Club's Marianne Towersey.

For Towersey, her victory Friday was her 17th title in the last 20

years, tying Dee Dee White of Newport Beach Country Club as the all-time

leader in club championships (men or women) in the Newport-Mesa

community.

Towersey, who will try to qualify for the U.S. Women's Amateur later

this year and already has a spot in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, has

captured the Tea Cup Classic three straight years.

Only the women's championship at Newport Beach Country Club has yet to

be decided and a May 18 final round is set with Debbie Albright trying to

defend again. The vivacious blond and mother of two young teenagers has

won five straight NBCC titles mainly because of an incredible work ethic

on the practice range.

In Woodard's case, the owner of Mail Boxes Etc. in Costa Mesa captured

her sixth straight Mesa Verde title Tuesday with a 77-78-77-83--315. She

won by 27 shots.

At Big Canyon, Slutzky won by 26 shots.

At Santa Ana, Towersey, possibly the best female golfer in

Newport-Mesa history who is still improving every year, shot

74-76-74-77--301 to win by plenty.

"That might have been my lowest (total) score," said Towersey, who won

the 1999 Santa Ana championship by 36 strokes after shooting 307.

"But, you never know. I might hit a wall. I might not get any more

(club championships and break White's record of all-time Newport-Mesa

titles). You don't know. Scoti Carden's getting awfully good. She shot 77

in the last round."

Towersey, a former Stanford golfer and tennis player, is one of the

reasons why the Tea Cup Classic was launched in the first place.

The Tea Cup Classic, always played during the peak of summer, was

created out of this space in 1997 after such large margins of victory by

the four women's club champions in the Daily Pilot circulation.

Further, the event provided an instant avenue to bring the

Newport-Mesa golf community closer together and promote women's golf in

the area, which some can argue is among the best anywhere.

No date for the 2001 Tea Cup Classic has been completely set in

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