As Individuals, Malibu Golfers are Tops in League

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Daniel Haines

Two members of Malibu High School’s three-man golf team sit atop the Frontier League’s leaderboard. 

Halfway through the season, Shark freshman Quincy Allen is boasting a league-best stroke average of 85, while teammate Daniel Haines, a sophomore, has an average stroke of 87. 

First-year Malibu golf coach Cindy McConnell said Allen and Haines are doing really well.

“I really believe Quincy and Daniel are going to make CIF [playoffs] on an individual basis,” said Cindy, an active LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) golfer from 1988 to 1996. “I’m excited for that.” 

Haines sits 3.67 points ahead of Scott Hamlet of Foothill Tech and Mike Mayhew of Fillmore High, who are tied for third place. The third Shark, freshman Josh McConnell, Cindy’s son, is currently ranked 18th out of 39 golfers. Josh has an average stroke of 112.67. 

Due to having only three members on the team, Malibu’s golfers competed in the team’s three golf tournaments as individuals. The Sharks would need to have at least six players on their squad to compete as a team against league opposition.

That hasn’t stopped the Sharks from excelling on the links. In the first tournament of the season, which took place on March 12 at Elkins Ranch Golf Course in Fillmore, Allen’s 84 was the second lowest stroke average at the event and Haines’ 87 was the third lowest. Josh shot 106. 

At the March 19 tournament at the Montecito Country Club in Santa Barbara, Haines shot a 90 and Allen shot a 91, the second lowest. Josh shot 122. 

Allen shot an 80 to lead the way at the tournament at River Ridge Golf Club in Oxnard on March 24. Haines came in second-place with 84. Josh a 110. 

Cindy said Josh, Haines and Allen are very motivated golfers. 

“They are all real eager to play,” she said. “They are very eager to improve their games.” 

Cindy said in preparation for each tournament, she will go over different strategies with the boys. 

“We will do practice rounds at the course we are going to compete at,” she said. “We try to quality versus quantity practice. We always have a plan.” 

Cindy believes her tenure as an amateur and professional golfer, which includes winning the inaugural U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 1987, adds a bit more clout to the golfing advice she gives the trio. 

“To them that was eons ago,” Cindy said of her golf career. “But they thought it was pretty neat. It helps with my credibility.” 

When describing her team, Cindy called Allen an “excellent ball striker.” 

“He is a tremendous talent,” she said. “He has a tremendous ability to focus, and I think that is one of the more difficult things to do when you are younger. Golf takes a lot of focus.” 

Cindy said Haines has a nice swing. 

“He has improved a lot in the past year,” she said. 

Cindy said her son, who is playing golf for the first time ever, is improving. 

“Josh is tall, has a lot of leverage and can hit the ball a long way,” she said. “He is pretty cool out there.” 

This month, the Sharks have three tournaments left, beginning on April 16 with an event against Santa Clara High at River Ridge. On April 23, the Sharks will compete against Foothill at Olivas Links Golf Course in Ventura and close the season with a tournament against Santa Paula at Mountain View Golf Course in Santa Paula. 

With Haines and Allen making a push toward the postseason and Josh striving to improve, Cindy said she wants all three golfers to keep working on their game.

“I just want them to keep their cool out there,” she said.