The golf team earned a 21-stroke victory over the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, 294-315, Saturday at the Via Verde Country Club.
Leading the way for the Leopards was senior Kelby Scharmann, who finished with a score of three-under 69.
Right behind him was sophomore Austin Matzaganian, posting a two-over 74.
The Sagehens’ two top scorers were junior Kevin Knox, who hit a 75 and freshman Spencer Katchman, who hit a 76.
“I thought for the team, we did a good job keeping the ball in play,” Matzaganian said.
Both Matzaganian and Scharmann struggled at times on the front nine, but heated up on the back nine, shooting a 32 and 33, respectively.
“Matzaganian bounced back after a really tough front nine and shot four under on the back nine,” head coach Chris Davis said. “Resilience is one of the key values that we really try to focus on throughout the course of the year,” he said. Scoring behind Matzaganinan and Scharmann were seniors Trent Twamley, shooting a three-over 75 and sophomore Alec Spencer, who shot a four-over 76.
“We have a lot of potential,” Spencer said. “I think we’re not as deep as we were last year, but we have all the pieces to be a good team this year.”
Last year ended a seven year Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title run for the Leopards, something that is not sitting well with the seniors.
“We lost it last year, but we want to get it back,” Scharmann said.
The Leopards are currently ranked 15th in the country, but Davis sees areas that need improvement for his team before his team heads into conference.
“The only thing we need to work on moving into conference this upcoming weekend is really the execution of the shot,” Davis said. “Everything before the shot I think we’re taking care of, but its really standing over the ball, feeling confident.”
Next up for the Leopards will be a trip to the Robinson Ranch-Valley Course in Santa Clarita on Saturday and Sunday for SCIAC No. 1. Davis sees an advantage for the team thanks to its familiarity with the Via Verde course and the Robinson Ranch-Valley course.
“The two courses are very similar,” Davis said. “So we’re going to continue to pound in good decision making before you execute the shot and then once we’re over the ball, we’re going to work on wedge play a lot.”
Despite being a smaller team than in years past, most of the team feels that it should be viewed as a strength, not a weakness. “We’re a smaller team so we’re a lot closer,” Spencer said. “All the guys like each other. Its like a little family.”
After their first SCIAC event, the Leopards will have another one before the SCIAC Championships are to begin in late April.
Chris McMahan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.