In its second conference meet of the young season, the La Verne golf team got its first win of the year.
The Leopards concluded their 18-hole round by shooting 290 at the Red Hills Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga and beat out second place Redlands by eight strokes.
“It was a good win,” said junior Rizal Amin. “The course played tough but it was good to see the team play well.”
ULV was led by the play of Amin and sophomore Andrew Kramer, who both tied for the top spot in the individual standings with their final score of 72.
Junior Jordan Talah and sophomore Mitchell Fedorka also finished tied at third place with their score of 73.
“Obviously we played pretty well,” Talah said. “That is a pretty tough course we played and we only shot two over par as a team.”
Before their first victory in their Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference meet, the Leopards claimed second place in the Point Loma invitational held at the Steele Canyon Country Club on March 3-4.
The Leopards finished with a final score of 902 in the three round invite despite leading by nine strokes after the first day of competition.
ULV was paced by Amin again, who concluded the invite by placing in seventh place overall in the individual standings with a score of 222.
Kramer completed the invite a stroke behind Amin at 223, which was good enough for eighth place while senior Chris Davis ended with a score of 226 and junior Jordan Talah finished in 12th place for the Leopards.
“After the first day, the course played much tougher,” Kramer said. “So we came up short but we were one of the only Division III teams there so that was good.”
“The last day the conditions were tough and course played hard,” Amin said. “No one played good in the back nine and it cost us the championship.”
La Verne led the invite through the first day but was narrowly edged out for first place by host team Point Loma, who rallied back from a disappointing first round to take the first with a final score of 899.
Others schools at the top of the team standings included Cal State Stanislaus in third while Cal State East Bay and Redlands rounded out the top five.
The Leopards were currently ranked No. 16 according to first Golf World/NIKE Golf Division III Coaches’ Poll entering the season.
The team is hoping to follow up on their goals of being reigning SCIAC champions, going undefeated in conference matches and competing at the nationals.
“My expectations are big for our team this year,” Fedorka said. “Our team is a little stronger and have a lot more depth than before. We have a stronger chance of winning nationals.”
ULV will play in the Kingsmen Invitational on March 18.
The Leopards will then return to SCIAC play when they host the third conference match in their friendly confines of the Sierra La Verne Country Club on Mar. 24.
Galo Pesantes can be reached at email@example.com.