The nattily outfitted Tonkham aspires to be like Tiger Woods, who some day will likely play the senior tour, open to pros 50 and older. Eger eyed the youths before tee time. “Having been a junior golfer many decades ago – we all played junior golf; none of us took up the game when we were 40 – I understand the importance of junior golf,” he said. “There’s nothing better than watching kids play golf.” And of those internal butterflies. “That’s a good thing,” he said. The county program offers free golf lessons on public courses to those younger than 18 in weeklong summer and after-school sessions. Most have never set foot on a course before, although a handful have gone on to high school programs, said Mike McMonegal, assistant golf director/junior golf director for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation. He helped create the program after spending 14 years as a golf pro at the Lakewood Golf Course. “The excitement of them getting to play with the legends of the game is incredible,” he said. “I’m sure they lost sleep last night over the chance to play with these guys.” [email protected] (661) 257-5255 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Deep in concentration on the putting green, they probably failed to notice as Curtis Strange – a two-time U.S. Open winner in back-to-back years in the late 1980s – walked by. The juniors were teamed with pros Chip Beck, Vance Heafner, Joe Inman, David Eger and Bill Rogers. Bobby Lange, 15, from Sherman Oaks and Troix Tonkham, 12, from Arleta won championships in their respective divisions in the county program. Lange, who attends the Harvard-Westlake School, played a match last year at the course. “I’m just trying to get as good as I can right now,” he said. “One day I hope I could play on the tour.” VALENCIA – Junior golfers, one just 10, played Tuesday in a pro-junior tournament, gleaning tips from their idols as preparations continue for this weekend’s AT&T Senior Classic. Outwardly, the youths seemed calm and composed, but their insides were aflutter as they practiced driving and putting skills at the Valencia Country Club course. “I feel sort of nervous,” said Jocelyn Chia, 10, of La Crescenta in a voice so quiet it was barely audible. “It’s OK.” The 15 juniors qualified for the event last year during tournaments held in a county-run youth golf program. Members of this select group were picked randomly from 100 hopefuls.
SEATTLE — This was supposed to be the friendly portion of the Angels’ schedule. While their American League West rival Oakland Athletics were traveling the East Coast this week battling playoff contenders in Cleveland and Boston, the Angels figured to have an easier time with sub-.500 teams Seattle and Detroit. “There’s nothing I can do on that play,” Cabrera said. “Adrian played it really smart and got the first out then got me in the rundown. “That was the game right there.” Reliever J.J. Putz (6-5) then got Bengie Molina, who drove in the Angels’ lone run in the seventh inning, to ground out to end the inning. Predictably, the Mariners took advantage in the bottom of the ninth. Angels starter Paul Byrd, who pitched a brilliant eight-plus innings, surrendered a bunt single to Jeremy Reed and a broken-bat single to Raul Ibanez to put runners on first and third with no outs. Scot Shields relieved and got Richie Sexson to ground into a bizarre 4-8-3 double play. The Angels used five infielders, with center fielder Maicer Izturis in the infield. Sexson grounded to second baseman Adam Kennedy, who was on the shortstop side of second base. Kennedy flipped to Izturis at second for the force, who then threw to first for the double play. But after Beltre was intentionally walked, Dobbs singled up the middle to bring in Reed with the game-winning run. “Even after we get that double play, and that play finally worked for us, Cabrera said. “It’s a tough loss.” Seattle scored in the third when, with Yuniesky Betancourt on second, Ichiro Suzuki dropped down a bunt to the third-base side. Byrd fielded and threw back against his momentum and over first baseman Darin Erstad allowing Betancourt to score for a 1-0 lead. “If I can field the ball, we still win, said Byrd, who allowed eight hits and just one earned run. The Angels evened the score at 1-1 in the seventh when Vladimir Guerrero, Erstad and Molina strung together consecutive two-out singles to plate the tying run. Oakland lost to the AL wild-card leading Cleveland Indians, 5-2, earlier Tuesday. Fourteen of the Angels’ remaining 18 games are against teams with a record below .500. A four-game trip to Oakland (Sept. 26-29) are the Angels’ lone games against a winning team. — Keven Chavez can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2239, or by e-mail at [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 A sparkling pitching performance from Seattle starter Ryan Franklin, a golden opportunity missed in the ninth inning and a game-winning single by Greg Dobbs were enough to keep the Angels from extending their one-game lead in the West over the Athletics. The Angels had a bases-loaded, no-out situation in a 1-1 game in the ninth inning and came up empty. Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera led off the top of the inning with a hard chopper that glanced off the glove of Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre for a single. Garret Anderson followed by blistering a ground-rule double to right and Vladimir Guerrero was then intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs. Mariners pitcher George Sherrill replaced Franklin and got Darin Erstad to hit a hard grounder to Beltre. The former Dodgers third baseman stepped on the bag to force Anderson and threw home to catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who tagged out Cabrera for the double play. The Mariners, in last place by as many games as are left in the season, have not exactly followed that script. The Angels lost their second consecutive game to the Mariners, 2-1, on Tuesday in front of 28,813 at Safeco Field.