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Ferrell blossoming for Newport Harbor

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Sophomore golfer, the Sunset League MVP, had another big year for Sailors.

November 09, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Newport Harbor High sophomore Grace Ferrell is the Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week.
Newport Harbor High sophomore Grace Ferrell is the Daily… (Don Leach, Daily…)

Grace Ferrell has one grandfather who taught her how to play golf, and another grandfather who likes to take the credit for doing so.

Grace grew up practicing with her father's dad, Doug Ferrell, at Tustin Ranch Golf Club. But last year Doug moved to Texas, where he works at a golf course.

Now Grace sometimes plays with her mother's dad, Roger Johnson, although he's still getting the hang of the sport.

"Luckily, my other grandpa plays too," Grace Ferrell said with a smile. "He's gotten better. He's started taking lessons. He wants to get better, but I have to tell him, 'Don't move your ball!' He likes to move his ball. I mean, you're not supposed to move your ball, but if it's in a bad lie he'll move his ball.

"It's funny. He says to everyone we play with, 'I taught her everything she knows,' but it's really my other grandpa."

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Ferrell, now a sophomore at Newport Harbor High, knows plenty about the sport now. She was the Sunset League MVP this year after medaling in nine of 10 league matches for the Sailors.

Coach Scott Tarnow said Ferrell is the first Sailors boys' or girls' player to earn that honor in 10 years. The last person to accomplish the feat, Natalie Draganza, won Sea View League MVP honors three different times. Draganza went on to play Division 1 golf in college at Boston College.

Ferrell, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, has similar ambitions, to play in college and maybe even professionally one day. Tarnow definitely believes that it's possible.

"She's really improved each of the last two seasons, [but] it's not just her talent," Tarnow said. "She's very coach-able. She listens and implements ideas, and gives feedback. She just loves the game. This is her passion."

Ferrell's season ended for the second straight year at the CIF Southern Section individual championship/WSCGA qualifying tournament. She had a rough round at Talega Golf Club in San Clemente, firing an 84.

But Ferrell ended up just two matches away from the state championships, and she has two more years to try to achieve that goal.

She'll certainly work at it. She typically practices around 20 hours a week. Last summer, she played in her first four American Junior Golf Assn. tournaments.

Once it comes to the dual matches or tournaments, Ferrell certainly has a game plan.

"Hitting fairways and greens, and then the putting will take care of itself," said Farrell, who can drive the ball 270 yards on a good day.

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