Malibu High School freshman Josh McConnell shot his lowest score of the season on Thursday, April 23, finishing with 104 strokes at the golf tournament at Olivas Links Golf Course.
Coach Cindy McConnell said Josh was struggling with this swing earlier that week, but found ways to improve it for Thursday’s match. She also said his short game and chipping were the best part of his performance.
“He’s also been working hard on his short game, and that definitely showed [on Thursday],” Cindy said.
The golf team’s roster increased to five players on Thursday with the addition of freshman Keaton Osbourne. He was previously ineligible to play, Cindy said.
Osbourne’s debut came with a score of 99, and he shot three strokes better in the back nine compared to the front.
“He has played quite a bit in the past, but not much of recent years,” Cindy said. “So he’s kind of getting back into the game.”
Cindy said she noticed that during practice, Osbourne has a tendency to lose focus. But when she saw him compete in his first match, it was a different story.
“In the match, he was more focused on his shots and his game,” she said. “I would call that his strength [on Thursday].”
Three of the four Malibu players who competed each had one birdie in their rounds of 18.
Freshman Quincy Allen and sophomore Daniel Haines continued their stellar play in Frontier League competition. Allen tied for first place at Thursday’s tournament with a score of 81, and still leads the league in stroke average.
Haines shot an 87, putting him at third place overall in the tournament. But with a stroke average of 86, Haines is second in the league.
“He had a little bit of trouble with putting but he still kept his position, so that was good,” Cindy said of Haines’ performance.
Josh and Haines worked on putting at the practice green after Thursday’s tournament, Cindy said, but she didn’t seem concerned about Haines’ struggles that day or moving forward.
“It’s the nature of the game,” Cindy said. “Some days you putt really well and some days you don’t. Some days you hit the ball better than other days.”
Cindy said her two best players still have a lot of room for improvement.
“They can improve on all aspects of their game,” she said. “They’re still young and getting better and better.”
The Sharks have one more regular season tournament to play before heading to the CIF playoffs. They will play on Thursday, April 30, at the Mountain View Golf Course in Santa Paula.