Golf: Mills wins Derby at Santa Ana CC

May 24, 2001

Richard Dunn

After a long clubhouse remodeling project, the scene was

spectacular at Santa Ana Country Club last weekend for The Derby, the

prestigious annual men's member/guest event.

Last year, the club was under construction during the three-day Derby,

but everything was back to picture perfect this year.

"(The remodeled clubhouse) is beautiful, and the tournament was


great," said Mike Reehl, Santa Ana's Director of Golf and head


Grabbing top net honors in the time-honored Derby, which changes the

playing format each day during the competition, were Don Mills of Santa

Ana and guest Ray Casciari (Yorba Linda). Club member Lloyd Charton and

guest John Passenissi (Old Ranch) placed second, while Santa Ana's Ray

Pacini and guest Peter Koetting (Big Canyon) finished third.

Winning low gross was the team of member Kerry Smith and guest Mike

Gibson (El Niguel), who finished at 3-under-par 213. The first day was

best ball, the second day was the Chapman format (alternating shots),

then the third day was best ball again. Santa Ana Country Club's Gabe

Loya was the chairman of The Derby.

Charton also won the club's recent President's Cup, defeating Dick

Hoagland, 2 and 1, in the championship match. It was Charton's first


Speaking of initial titles, Santa Ana's Gregg Hemphill added his name

to the long and distinguished list of men's club champions at the oldest

golf club in Orange County.

Hemphill recently defeated five-time winner Boyd Martin in a 36-hole

match-play final at Santa Ana, 1 up.

Hemphill led the entire way, but Martin pulled to within one shot

several times, including with two holes left.

On the 34th hole, the par-4 No. 16, Martin made birdie and Hemphill

made bogey to slice Hemphill's lead to one.

Then, at the par-3 No. 17, both players were a little short off the

tee. Hemphill chipped to about 17 feet and Martin chipped to four feet of

the stick, setting up a possible deadlock.

But Hemphill made his long putt for par, then Martin, with the

pressure on, sank his putt as the two headed to the par-5 No. 18 with

Hemphill leading, 1 up. They both made par at 18 as Hemphill secured his

first Santa Ana club championship.

The club held its first championship in 1925.

Three-time defending champion Chris Veitch did not play this year in

order to participate in his daughter's wedding.

The George Yardley golf tournament June 25 at Newport Beach Golf

Course, aptly named Yardley VIII, will benefit the Newport Harbor High

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