Men's Golf

Trio of OEC Teams To Battle for Men's Golf State Title

Trio of OEC Teams To Battle for Men's Golf State Title

The 2018 CCCAA Men's Golf State Championship will be held on Monday (May 14) at the Sandpiper Golf Club in Goleta, providing a picturesque and challenging course to wrap up the season.

Dubbed as the "Pebble Beach of Southern California" by some, the Sandpiper course layout teeters on the edge of the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean just north of Santa Barbara.  It provides an ideal course on sunny days when the winds are calm.  However, the 60 players invited to the one-day, 36-hole CCCAA State Championship could face difficult conditions if the ocean breezes turn into gusty winds, clear skies turn foggy, or the gravitational pull which tends to entice golf balls toward the ocean takes an upper hand.

Three Orange Empire Conference teams will by vying for the coveted state title and will represent three of the four teams from the Southern California region in the tournament.  The OEC teams will be trying to upend College of the Canyons which is the defending state champion and winner of this week's CCCAA Southern California Regional title on the Bakersfield Country Club course with a 747 team score.  Cypress College was second at the regional championship with a team score of 758 while Orange Coast placed third at 761 and Riverside City College grabbed the fourth and final spot with a team score of 774.

There are 15 returners from last year's CCCAA State Championship event, including five of the top 20 finishers from a year ago.  Cypress College's Matt Rafter posted a 1-over-par 145 in this week's Southern Regional to place third in the field while Riverside City College's Michael Herrera shot a 7-over 151 at the Southern Regional this week.  Both return for their second shot at a state title this season after finishing 14th and 17th, respectively, at the state championship event a year ago.

The team competion appears to have defending state champion College of the Canyons as the favorite to repeat this year.  The Cougars have eight state titles to their credit, including four of the past 10 state titles.  Jones Comerford leads the team and was the only golfer at the Southern Regional to finish the day in the red, posting a 1-under-par total of 143.  Canyons will get a good challenge again this year from Cypress College as the Chargers finished as state runners-up a year ago and finished second to Canyons at this week's Southern Regional by 11 strokes.  The Chargers are one of two teams in this year's event to have never won the state title. 

Riverside placed fourth at last year's state championship and will likely need to post season-best scores to challenge for this year's title.  The Tigers' only state title came in 2014. 

Also representing the south will be Orange Coast College.  The Pirates captured the Orange Empire Conference title over both Cypress and Riverside but their only state title came in 1958.  Orange Coast will be looking to celebrate the 60th anniversary of that state title by challenging for this year's title.