Both the men’s and women’s golf teams struggled in SCIAC #2 at Empire Lakes Golf Course in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., over the weekend. The women finished fifth ahead of Whittier, while the men came in seventh in front of Pomona-Pitzer.
Colton Bares (first-year) put together a strong individual performance, posting a 3-over 75 in Saturday’s first round, which would become a tournament-low for the Tigers. He finished the second round with a 9-over 81, pushing his final tally to 156.
Fellow newcomer James Wronoski finished just one stroke back of Bares with a 157 cumulative score, shooting 7-over 79 and 6-over 78.
Sophomore Jeremy Klein notched two 8-over 80s, and Weekly staff member Ryan Whalen (sophomore) finished with a 9-over 81 and an 11-over 83.
“For our next tournament, if we want to compete with the better teams, we need to focus more on the course,” Bares said via email.
On the women’s side, Katie Park (senior) and Kristin Oberiano (sophomore) were caught in a back-and-forth battle for Occidental’s top spot. Park led the way with a 165, shooting 13-over 85 and 8-over 80.
“I felt that my game is beginning to come back and that I am starting to feel more comfortable with my golf swing,” Park said via email.
In similar fashion to the men, Oberiano finished one back of the senior leader, compiling a 166 on two 11-over 83s.
One of the brighter spots for the women came in the form of Kara Alam (first-year), who posted a career-best 13-over 85 on day one of the event. Alam experienced growing pains over the course of her first season, but Tiger head coach Andrew Larkin ‘12 feels that she is making steady improvement.
“[Alam] played her best round of the season, finding a great round when she is still not at her best,” Larkin said.
Both squads entered the tournament on the heels of strong events. The women finished third at the Cal Lutheran Invite in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on March 16-18, while the men played arguably their best golf of the campaign with a 12th-place result in a highly competitive field at the West Cup in Murrieta, Calif., on March 23-25.
Larkin believes that the drop in performance was merely a bump in the road, not the start of a new trend for the season.
“We made a lot of mental errors and followed them up with a few more mental errors,” Larkin said. “It was a setback for the solid ground the team made in April, but was not a reflection of our talent.”
The men will participate in the Mt. Baldy Shootout at the Upland Hills Country Club on Saturday, hosted by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS). They meet up with the women’s team for the final time in 2014 at the SCIAC Championships at Oak Valley Golf Club on April 27-29.