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Troy and Trevor McNary – current and past standout La Serna golfers

WHITTIER — Imagine growing up with Pebble Beach or Torrey Pines as your backyard, or maybe even Augusta National.

Well, it’s not quite any of those courses, but Troy and Trevor McNary have Candlewood Country Club in Whittier as their backyard – literally.

Troy, a sophomore at La Serna High School and Trevor, a 2019 La Serna graduate, have spent nearly their whole walking life on the beautiful rolling terrain of the 64-year-old course. Specifically, their yard backs up to the middle of No.7 and No. 8 fairways.

The house has been in the McNary family for 56 years, as their mother, Kim McNary, also grew up on the course.

In fact, Trevor said it best of growing up on a golf course.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “You just walk out the gate and play as many holes as you like. It’s just amazing.” Kim did the same.

With all sports at a standstill, which includes the most famous golf tournament of them all – The Masters – the young McNary boys are so hungry for some golf, they’re putting and chipping (ping pong balls of course) indoors these days. And they also are playing as much as possible on the course.

“This should be the premier week of golf,” said Kim McNary, who played on a golf scholarship at USC. Kim was referring, of course, to the cancellation of The Masters.

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Brothers Trevor McNary, 19, and Troy, 16, aim for the green as they practice at Candlewood Country Club in Whittier on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. (Photo by Keith Durflinger)

Kim’s grandparents saw the two boys develop in their early years and her mom (Catherine Kirby) to this day watches Troy and Trevor grow and says to Kim of their location on the course out of the back door, ‘…. I never get tired of the view.’

In fact, it’s a golfing family, with Troy and Trevor’s uncle, Bobby Lasken (Kim’s brother), a UCLA graduate, who also was on a golf scholarship.

Rounding out the McNary family is dad, Mike, who is a teaching pro at Costa Mesa Country Club.

“They (Troy and Trevor) root for each other,” Mike McNary said. “They’re missing a lot right now with no team or tournament competition. You have to love it and love doing it and they would play every day if they could. As soon as they started walking, they gravitated toward golf.”

On the current situation that we are in, Mike McNary said about the boys: “Playing under pressure is what they miss most.”

No pressure at all for Troy, who shot a 3-under 32 on his season qualifier for high school. Troy, by the way, is a plus-one golfer and his brother, Trevor, is a plus-two. Trevor is currently at Cal State University Fullerton on the golf team.

“I was looking forward to following in his footsteps (this year),” said Troy, of his brother who was a four-time Del Rio League champion. “I feel like I have changed and matured this year.”

La Serna boys golf coach Jerrod Savala echoed what Troy said of his game from a year ago.

“Troy is a much different golfer and individual than he was a year ago,” said Savala, who is in his third year as head coach. “He’s matured and he’s become more focused and has developed a strong work ethic.

“I think part of Trevor’s success has motivated Troy to improve his game and work towards playing in college, like Trevor.”

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Troy McNary, 16, during practice with his brother, Trevor, 19, at Candlewood Country Club in Whittier on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. (Photo by Keith Durflinger)

Savala, who is a teacher at La Serna and is in his fifteenth year in the golf program, took over for longtime boys and girls coach Marty Galvan. Galvan retired and is still involved in the boys and girls program. Wayne Manzo is currently the girls coach and assists Savala in the boys program.

The La Serna boys, which went undefeated last season and started this year 3-0 before it was halted, have won 18 of the last 20 DRL titles.

“Both of them (Troy and Trevor) are extremely talented golfers that continually work on getting better,” Savala added. “They have an extremely supportive and athletic family, that have instilled a competitive drive in both of them.

“I’ve been fortunate to have both of them in my golf program, and look forward to watching Troy continue to grow as a player and Trevor compete at the collegiate level. Troy’s success has a lot to do with Trevor’s success.”

The athletic family goes back to high school and also college for Mike, as he was a standout baseball player at Lakewood high and went on to Loyola Marymount University. Both Kim and Bobby were outstanding golfers at St. Paul high in nearby Santa Fe Springs.

Nineteen-year-old Trevor, who along with Troy played in the CIF-Southern Section individuals last year, was actually in the middle of a tournament in Arizona when their season ended.

“We were in Arizona and we played one hole and had to get off the course right away and they cancelled the entire tournament and the entire season,” Trevor said. “It was mind blowing how we had to leave that quickly.”

Troy started his season with a bang for the Lancers, but it was cut short when high school sports were halted.

“I miss just playing with my team and I don’t get to spend time with them,” Troy said of the season cut short. “It’s (Coronavirus) scary.”

Troy reflected on what it’s like in the current situation.

“When you’re playing by yourself, you learn a lot of how your game is going. This (Candlewood) is a great course, a great practice facility and it’s really tough if you play here for the first time.”

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Brothers Troy McNary, 16, and Trevor, 19, as they practice at Candlewood Country Club in Whittier on Tuesday April 6, 2020. (Photo by Keith Durflinger)

Troy also looks forward to his added time lately with his brother. “We get to practice a lot more and I get to see what I’m up against.”

Coach Savala said of the team concept and what they were missing: “It’s disappointing the way this year turned out because of the group of kids I have on the team. For most of them, golf is a year round sport and the high school season is something all of them look forward to. They have put in a lot of time and effort going into this season, they had high expectations both as a team and individually.

“In my opinion, high school sports is all about the student-athlete. They are the ones that truly miss out in a situation like this. I enjoy coaching the team and plan on doing so for a long time, but for a high school student, their window is small and for most of them this will be the end of competitive athletics. As a team, we are fortunate in a sense, with only one senior, most of the team will be returning next year. But it is disappointing that kids, at all schools, won’t have the opportunity to finish their high school athletic career on the course.”

Troy, who has had a lot of coaching being the youngest and last to come along, said it best of his game: “You have to focus on every shot ahead of you after your bad shots.”

As the four McNary’s – Mike, Kim, Trevor and Troy – could all be seen saying that as they go out their back gate on to No. 7 someday when it’s ok to play as a foursome.

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