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Modeling consistency

August 05, 2004

Bryce Alderton

Debbie Albright has fond memories of Newport-Mesa golf championships,

especially on her home course -- Newport Beach Country Club.

The winner of the last nine women's championships at Newport Beach

Country Club, then, will feel right at home when the revamped Jones

Cup makes its debut at 1 p.m. Aug. 18 on the course that hosts the

Toshiba Senior Classic each March.

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In 2001, Albright shot a 6-over-par 78 on her home course to

defeat Santa Ana Country Club's Marianne Towersey by two strokes to

win Tea Cup Classic V, the former championship that featured the four

women's winners from each of the four private clubs in Newport-Mesa

against one another in an 18-hole, stroke-play duel against one

another.

The Tea Cup Classic lasted seven years, running its course after

last year's championship at Mesa Verde Country Club. Albright played

all seven years, finishing second three times in addition to her

victory in 2001.

But Albright, along with the 15 other golfers in this year's Jones

Cup, will initiate the dawning of a new era for golf in Newport-Mesa,

and she is excited about it.

"I'm looking forward to it. I like the format change," Albright, a

46-year-old mother of two, said.

In this year's Jones Cup, a foursome from each of the four private

clubs will count the two best balls per hole, a slight evolution of

the better ball of partners format used during the previous Jones Cup

era with the men.

Foursomes will include the women's, men's and senior club

champions along with a golf staff professional.

"[This year's Jones Cup] will be more relaxed and more fun for

everyone," Albright said. "It will take the pressure off one player

and you will have to form a team to get the job done."

Many of Newport Beach Country Club's ladies tournaments feature

best-ball formats, so Albright is familiar with the style of play.

No matter the format, Albright has consistently shown her ability

to shine when it counts most.

Albright shot 84-75-73-83 -- 315 in May's women's club

championship to tie Dee Dee White for the most consecutive Newport

Beach Country Club crowns with nine. White won 17 Newport Beach Country Club women's titles.

Albright's 315 was nine strokes less than her winning score in

2003.

Helping husband Jock raise two teenagers, Katie and Charlie,

occupies much of Albright's time, but she said it is a priority.

Albright asked Katie, her oldest child and member of Corona del

Mar High's girls golf team that claimed the program's first Pacific

Coast League championship last fall, to caddy for her and the

soon-to-be CdM senior obliged.

The two will strategize on a course they both undoubtedly know

only too well.

But Albright, a New Zealand native, doesn't expect a drastic home

course advantage when she teams with men's champion Jeff Wright,

senior winner George Dahl and head golf professional Paul Hahn.

"Most of the players around here have all played each other's

courses," Albright said. "I know Marianne has played tons of times

over the years.

"There might be a little bit of an advantage as far as putting

goes for us, but I don't think it is that big. We will have to work

hard. There will be good competition out there."

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