Watching and waiting (Leo Astorga / Staff Photographer)
By Ruben Gallegos / Staff Writer
The Riverside City College men’s golf team placed fourth at the Community Colleges Athletic Association Championship at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont on May 17.
“Going into it I was really glad,” said coach Steve Sigloch. “Overall I was very happy at the way things played out. We had a chance, if our bottom end played a little better, we could have placed first, second or third.”
As the Tigers entered the playoffs on May 3, their 11-6 record prevented their elimination in the Orange Empire Conference tournament, and allowed them to advance to the Southern California regional finals.
The Tigers’ third place performance in the regional tournament advanced them to the state championships, a feat only achieved once before in the golf team’s history in 1994.
“We could have had a better performance at the regional finals especially the conference tournament,” Sigloch said. “But overall I’m very happy… we placed a very respectable fourth in the state.”
As the Tigers headed into the final 18-holes in the afternoon they trailed by nine strokes.
“That’s a pretty big difference to try to make up, and it can add a lot of pressure,” Sigloch said.
The Tigers shot a 757 score in the 36-hole state championship, finishing 22 shots behind the new state champions, West Hills College.
Chabot College finished the tournament in second, shooting 751, and Cypress College came in third, just ahead of Riverside, with a score of 754.
“Our first and second players performed really well,” Sigloch said. “They shot 2-under for the 36-hole match. The others just didn’t play up to their potential.”
Those talented performances belong to sophomore Nick Paez, and freshman Caleb Malcolm. Malcolm actually led the team in the morning with a low score of 70 and an even-par 72 in the afternoon.
As the Tigers’ top two golfers, Paez and Malcolm led the team with 36-hole scores of two-under, 142, which earned them a fifth place tie overall.
“Nick and Caleb did really good,” said Sigloch. “We didn’t though.”
With the season at its end, players are looking forward to the new opportunities that their success has brought them.
“Nothing is official yet, but three guys are up for scholarships, maybe four,” Sigloch said. “They all deserve it, I’ve seen these players make improvements throughout the season.”
Sigloch is already gearing up for next season.
En route recruiting he said, “It’s all about the players. We’ve had some progress and we’ll hopefully bring in some new guys next year that will continue to do that.”
Team member Nick Ericson was disappointed with his performance but was satisfied with the season overall.
“It was a good season,” Ericson said. “We wanted to win but we just didn’t play as well as we wanted in the state championship; it was fun though.”