OJAI — College of the Canyons men's golf capped a decade of dominance on Monday, as the Cougars hoisted the program's 10th straight Western State Conference (WSC) Championship after running away from the field at Soule Park Golf Course.
The conference title is the 25th overall in program history, all coming under Canyons head coach Gary Peterson.
This is the second time in program history that the Cougars have completed a 10-peat. Canyons also won 10 straight conference titles from 1998 to 2007. After a two-year absence from the conference top spot COC started its current streak back in 2010.
The Cougars finished the 36-hole WSC finals event six strokes under par to lead the field at 714. Santa Barbara City College was second at 730, followed by third place Bakersfield College at 771 and Glendale in the four spot at 776.
COC freshman Anguerrand Voisin was the event medalist with a four-under par, combined-round score of 140. He shot identical rounds of 70 on both the front and back 18 to lead the field of 46 individuals.
Freshman Nobuhiko Wakaari was just two strokes off that pace with his combined score of 142. Wakaari carded a one-over 73 in the opening round, then came back for a three-under 69 in the afternoon. His score of 69 was good for medalist honors on the back 18.
Jack Greene turned in the top score of the day with an impressive six-under-par round of 66 in the morning round to earn medalist honors. Greene followed that up with a 78 later in the day that did not factor into the COC team score, but helped the freshman finish fourth overall in the tourney field.
Matthew Mansholt checked in with a round of 76 in the morning then improved on that output with a two-under score of 70. That tied for runner-up standing in the second round and placed Mansholt seventh overall in the event standings.
Jules Lavigne finished at 74 and 75 for a combined score of 149. Tom Sims had his opening round score of 80 dropped from the COC tally but bounced back with a one-under 71 to finish the day at 151. His afternoon round of 71 ranked fourth in the field.
Canyons closes out the WSC portion of its schedule with an 83-5 record to win the conference title. SBCC was runner-up at 80-8 with Ventura a distant third at 63-25.
Lavigne, Voisin and Sims each earned All-WSC honors for the Cougars with Wakaari taking home WSC Player of the Year honors.
Wakaari finished the regular season ranked first in total strokes (802) and round average (72.91). He also led in adjusted strokes (640) and adjusted average (71.11) which are determined after dropping a player's two high scores. He bested the next closest competitor by 30 strokes to also establish a new conference record.
Wakaari medaled in six of 11 conference rounds in addition to the Southern California Regional Preview event. He also finished as the field's runner-up on two occasions.
Lavigne ranked third overall in the conference standings followed by Voisin in the four spot and Sims at No. 5.
The Cougars now advance to the CCCAA Southern California Regional Championships to be played at Los Serranos Country Club on May 6. The 36-hole event begins at 7 a.m.
1. Canyons (714-359/355) 2. SBCC (730-364/366) 3. Bakersfield (771-385/386) 4. Glendale (776-387/389) 5. Ventura (783-397/386) 6. Antelope Valley (823-405/418) 7. Citrus (no score) 7. Hancock (no score) 8. Victor Valley (no score)
CANYONS INDIVIDUAL SCORES
Anguerrand Voisin (140-70/70)-Event Medalist; Nobuhiko Wakaarai (142-73/69)-2nd Round Medalist; Jack Green (144-66/78)-1st Round Medalist; Matthew Mansholt (146-76/70); Jules Lavigne (149-74/75); Tom Sims (151-80/71).
(Jesse Munoz, COC Sports Information Director)