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Originally published Tuesday, April 12, 2005 at 12:00 AM

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2005 girls golf outlook: Second chance for state title

If they ever collect unusual items for a museum exhibit of Washington high-school athletics, Marianne Banton's scorecard from the 2004 Class...

Seattle Times staff reporter

If they ever collect unusual items for a museum exhibit of Washington high-school athletics, Marianne Banton's scorecard from the 2004 Class 1A/B state girls golf tournament should make the cut.

On the first day of the tournament, Banton could do almost nothing right. The next day she could do nothing wrong.

The result was one of the strangest scorecards in memory as the junior from Bear Creek School in Redmond shot 89-73 and wound up second at the par-72 Tri-Cities Country Club.

"I put too much pressure on myself," she said of the first day. "On the second day, I was just out to play another round of golf. I was having fun with the girls I was playing with."

Coach Mike Dowd was with Banton at the tournament.

Players to watch


Some of the area's top girls golfers:

Jordan Allyne, Interlake, So.

Whitney Ammerman, Redmond, Sr.

Rachel Casselman, Kamiak, Sr.

Stephanie Corey, Mount Rainier, Fr.

Christine Cho, Kentridge, Jr.

Tessa Christiansen, Auburn Riverside, Sr.

Amy Dalzell, Foster, Sr.

Christa Goldie, Kamiak, So.

Dani Madden, Woodinville, Jr.

Lauren Phillips, Auburn, Sr.

Kate Saucier Madden, Bainbridge, So.

(Girls golf is a fall sport in some leagues; boys and girls state tournaments are in the spring.)

Craig Smith

"She just had an awful first day. She wasn't comfortable," he said. "Then she came back with the 73."

Banton gets another crack at the tournament this year, and defending champion Sadie Green of Okanogan has graduated.

Banton will be out to avoid another inconsistent performance before leaving high-school golf to play at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Banton's longtime goal has been to earn a scholarship from UBC.

International borders are nothing new for Banton, whose father, David, a geologist, is English and whose mother, Chantal Garceau, is French-Canadian. The family lives in the Woodinville area near Cottage Lake.

Garceau teaches French at the private Bear Creek School, where Marianne attends with her twin sister, Catherine, a 4.0 student who is a distance runner. Catherine was on the Bear Creek cross-country team that made it to state for the first time last fall.

Marianne picked up a golf club for the first time as a seventh-grader when her maternal grandparents introduced her to the game. She started getting serious about golf before her sophomore year, and started taking lessons from instructor Johnny Falsetto of Bellevue.

Last summer, she won the district championship in Washington Junior Golf Association competition with a 1-over 74 at Jackson Park.

Banton played basketball until this school year, when she chose to concentrate on golf. At 5 feet 8, she was the tallest girl on her undersized team and usually had to guard the biggest girl on the other team.

Banton missed nearly a month during her junior basketball season because of a knee injury that has healed.

She got a break recently when she was hired to work on the driving range at Trilogy Golf Club, between Redmond and Duval. The job opens opportunities to practice and play when she isn't working.

Like many golfers, Banton has some rituals and superstitions. She always carries the same British Open metal ball-marker she got as a gift. She uses it to mark her ball's spot on the green while she cleans it or when the ball has to be moved out of an opponent's putting line. She also always carries the same divot-repair tool.

Her pre-shot routine for putts includes three steps toward the ball and wiping her hands on the side of her pants even if they aren't sweaty.

"I'm superstitious," she said.

She's also pretty good.

Craig Smith: 206-464-8279 or csmith@seattletimes.com

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