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College golf: COC men come up inches short of state title

Posted: May 14, 2012 7:53 p.m.
Updated: May 14, 2012 7:53 p.m.
 

How close did College of the Canyons come to winning a state championship?

“Half an inch away,” said head coach Gary Peterson.

COC shot a two-round score of 729 to tie College of the Desert on Monday at the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship at Santa Maria Country Club, but the Cougars lost in a card-off when Desert’s sixth golfer shot a better second round than theirs.

Canyons could have won its first state title since 2008 on the final hole of the day. Aaron West had a 4-foot putt for par that would have cut a shot off COC’s score, but it flirted with the edge of the hole and wouldn’t drop.

The runner-up finish could hardly be pinned on West, however. After shooting a round of 356 in the morning — eight strokes lower than Desert’s 364 — the Cougars shot a 373 in the afternoon.

“We’re all a little disappointed with how we played in the second round,” said Hart High graduate Travis Bregman, who shot a two-round score of 147 (71-76). “We’re all going back through our heads thinking about that one shot we could have got back. It’s pretty disappointing.”

Derek Larson shot a total score of 142 to lead COC, posting a 70 in the first round and a team-low 72 in the second. Riley Hayfield led Canyons with a 69 in the first round and added a 75 in the second for a total score of 144.

Luke Kristo shot a 146 (72-74), West shot a 150 (74-76) and Tyler Schwanz shot a 154 (78-76). Desert’s sixth golfer, Allan Nousianen, shot a 75 in the second round to break the tie.

The Cougars played Santa Maria Country Club on April 23 for a Western State Conference match, and Larson said the conditions were slightly different this time.

“They grew the rough out,” he said. “If you didn’t hit the fairways, it was a little tougher. The greens were a little tougher.”

Larson also said that toward the end of the first round, the wind began to pick up, and it blew at a steady 15 miles an hour during the second round.

Santa Rose finished third with a team score of 736, led by Chris Gregus’ 144 (69-75). Chabot was fourth with a score of 749, led by Tyler Archer’s 146 (72-74).

Canyons did just about everything but win the state title this season, earning WSC and CCCAA Southern Regional championships. The Cougars even established a new school record with a 15-under team score of 345 at the sixth WSC match on April 11 at San Dimas Country Club.

“Bottom line is, hell of a season,” Peterson said. “To lose state championship in a card-off, I know the boys are disappointed because it was in their hands. Sometimes, you learn more from not getting your way.”

Peterson added that he made “six friends” with this year’s team. They feel the same way.

“Everyone loves each other,” Larson said. “We had school records together. Everyone got along great.”

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