Both the men’s and women’s golf teams teed off their respective competitive seasons with the SCIAC #1 Tournament at Sierra Lakes Golf Course Fontana, Calif. over the weekend.
The women’s team finished fifth overall, while the men tied for seventh.
On the men’s side, Colton Bares (first-year) shot a 3-over 75 Friday and a career-low 4-under 68 Saturday in his first official SCIAC event.
“To be honest, after my 75 on Saturday I went home a little bit disappointed,” Bares said. “Normally, I would be satisfied with a 75, but I felt like I was hitting the ball so well. Fortunately, my ball striking carried over to Sunday.”
Fellow newcomer James Wronoski stepped for the Tigers as well, posting scores of 6-over 78 and 7-over 79.
“Having both Colton and James playing at a high level establishes what we are building here,” Occidental head coach Andrew Larkin said. “They add the base we need for this program going forward, and we plan not only to develop all of our current players, but add strong talent to this base.”
For the women, Kristin Oberiano (sophomore) registered an 8-over 80 and a 6-over 78. Close behind was captain Katie Park (senior), who supplemented Oberiano’s scores with an 11-over 83 and a 7-over 79.
“This tournament demonstrated that I have every shot I need to place in the top spots in the next SCIAC tournaments and gave me perspective on the aspects of my game that I need to work on,” Oberiano said. “I know we have the ability to succeed this year; we just need to believe in ourselves and make it happen.”
With two members on each squad tallying at least one sub-80 round in the tournament, Larkin is happy with his teams’ starts but sees room for improvement.
“Both teams need to continue to get better on the greens,” Larkin said. “We gave away a lot on the greens and could do more to save shots. We will get there, but need to continue to build to finish rounds.”
The women’s team is scheduled to compete in the Cal State San Marcos Invite on March 1-3. The men will have to wait a while longer, with over a month until their next competition at the West Cup from March 23-25.