For the La Verne men’s golf team, this season has been nothing short of spectacular.
The Leopards won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships for the first time since 2013 and have three athletes who earned All-SCIAC honors.
Those three athletes are seniors Conner Davis and Hisham Hussein, and junior Pitiluk Phanomchai.
“On the golf side of things, they’re all really accomplished players,” said head coach Eric Riehle. “Unique in what they do well on the golf course and they’ve worked to improve their games.”
Davis started playing golf when he was around 8 years old, and as he got older he began to play competitively; that is where he said the game really grew on him. Davis transferred to La Verne to play with his brother after spending a year at Pepperdine.
“Seeing the journey I’ve been on the last three years, and how different I feel about from my sophomore year to now, it feels like the shortest three years but it feels like the longest three years at the same time,” said Davis. “I’ve learned so much, but it feels like it went by so fast.”
Davis’ career includes earning All-American honors on top of his All-SCIAC honors.
“He’s a little more quiet, a little more observing of what’s going on around him, but demands excellence of himself at all times,” said Riehle on Davis. “He definitely wants to be able to separate himself from the rest.”
Davis said he hopes to compete professionally following his career as a Leopard.
Hussein, who started out playing soccer when he was younger, said he found his interest in golf because of the way the sport tends to make you have more self-reliance.
“It’s a sport where no matter how much you practice you can always get better,” Hussein said. “Never quite seeing the end result is what really pushed me to play it more.”
Hussein’s career includes All-SCIAC honors as well as being named the 2018 Lee Fulmer SCIAC Athlete of the Year.
“He has a great mind, he’s like an idea type of person,” Riehle said. “He’s going to work hard to accomplish what he seeks out too.”
Like Davis, Hussein hopes to compete professionally following his career as a Leopard.
Phanomchai, who is originally from Thailand, has been playing golf since he was around the age of two. He played at the amateur level in the United States before reaching out to Coach Riehle about playing for ULV.
“He brings a level of self-confidence and self-assurance that you don’t see very often,” said Riehle. “He believes in himself, he knows that he is really capable and he just really enjoys the game a lot.”
Despite the success he has had so far this season, Phanomchai believes he has the potential to perform even better.
“On a scale from one to 10, I’m at about a seven or eight. I feel like I can do better throughout the season,” said Phanomchai.
Next up for the Men’s Golf Team is the NCAA Division III National Championships which begin May 14 in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
Christopher Livingston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.