SAN JACINTO – For the 10th time in program history and the second consecutive championship-eligible season, the College of the Canyons Cougars have been crowned the California Community College Athletic Association Men’s Golf State Champions. They fended off runner-up Saddleback College by two strokes as they finished with a field low 720.
“I never thought this team would win,” COC Head Coach Gary Peterson said jokingly. “We had 32 guys try out for the team and it just made them stronger.”
The top five swingers for Canyons were lights out throughout the 36-hole melee. Kieran Bye, who at times was left out of the regular season lineup, led the team with a 141 (71, 73). Magnus Hansen followed with a 142 (71, 71), backed by a strong effort from Hugo Amsallem (72, 72) and Leo Cheng (71, 73) who each shot 144.
Jordan Allaire had the throw-out score of 152, but dunked a hole-in-one during the afternoon round on the 17th hole. He notched one of two hole-in-ones with the first coming at the hands of Sierra’s Dylan Meskowsky on the eighth hole during the morning round.
It is the 10th championship for Peterson and his strategy was simple throughout the entire season.
“Be positive. That’s all I can do. I am not going to get in their face or tell them how to hit the ball. I just keep a positive attitude and try to build them up when they’re down,” he said.
Saddleback pushed Canyons to the end as they fell short with a team score of 422. Clayton Smith had a tournament-low 68 in the first round to lead all individual golfers but was unable to hang on after carding a 74. Patrick Jaksch followed with a 143 (73,70). Reedley finished in third with a team score of 730. Cypress placed fourth after penciling a 734.
The individual champion came from the North as Folsom Lake’s Giacomo Sorrentino strung together a field low 139 (69, 70). Cypress’ Devin Schaffer was one stroke shy of the title (71, 69), while Bye followed in third.
“The first round went kind of smooth leading to an even front nine,” said Sorrentino. “I picked it up with four birdies. The second round I was tired, but stayed bogey-free on the back and it was good to make some putts coming down the stretch.”
Focus is key during the tournament and Sorrentio was locked in from the get-go.
“I just tried to take it hole by hole and space out my shots by looking around. It’s tough to lock in for 10 hours,” said Sorrentino.
Sorrentino plans to graduate from Folsom Lake and possibly step away from golf, but he will always remember his experience as a student-athlete.
PL School Rd 1 Rd 2 TOT
1. COC 358 362 – 720
2. Saddlbk 363 359 – 722
3. Reedley 367 363 – 730
4. Cypress 371 363 – 734
5. Folsom 370 366 – 736
6. Ventura 383 362 – 745
7. Sierra 376 386 – 762
8. Montery 389 387 – 776
CCCAA All-State Team
PL Name School Rd 1 Rd 2 TOT
1. G. Sorrentino Folsom 69 70 – 139
2. Devin Schaffer Cypress 71 69 – 140
3. Kieran Bye Canyons 71 70 – 141
4. Magnus Hansen Canyons 71 71 – 142
5. Clayton Smith Saddlbk 68 74 – 142
6. Evan Colborn Ventura 74 69 – 143
Stay up to date on all this season’s action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube or visit COC Athletics.