PASADENA — Two weeks ago, the prospect of the Glendale Community College men's golf team getting out of the Western State Conference Final and qualifying for the Southern California Regionals was bleak.
But when the Vaqueros placed second in a conference match April 14 at Oakmont Country Club, there was a glimmer of hope that the team could qualify for the postseason.
With three of the four postseason spots already locked up heading into Monday's conference finals, Glendale college would have to best the remaining four schools to earn a berth. One thing the Vaqueros had on their side, however, was the fact that Monday's event would take place at Brookside Golf Course, a venue the players were familiar with and had played before.
Glendale used that home course advantage to the fullest, finishing third and punching its ticket to the Southern California Regionals.
"I am just ecstatic right now. These guys really came through and did a tremendous job today," first-year Vaqueros Coach Todd Tyni said. "I am just on Cloud Nine right now. This is a great accomplishment for the guys.
"And the great thing about it is that I only lose one guy, so almost the entire team will be coming back [next year]."
Playing two 18-hole rounds on Brookside courses No. 1 and No. 2, the match was won by College of the Canyons, which carded rounds of 339 and 373 for a total of 712. It was followed by Santa Barbara (358-387—745) and the Vaqueros (367-381—748).
With Santa Barbara, Canyons and Ventura already locking up the first three postseason spots, Glendale bested Allan Hancock (372-395—767), which placed fifth, by 19 strokes.
Canyons won the conference title.
The Southern California Regionals will take place next Monday at Stone Ridge Country Club in Poway in San Diego County.
Tyni said having the conference final at Brookside was a definite advantage for the Vaqueros.
"I think that made a huge difference," he said. "The guys have played this course before and they are familiar with it. We are just lucky that in the match that we needed to do well, we were able to play at a place that would be to our advantage."
The medalist was Canyons' Jonas Dahl, who fired a blistering five-under-par 65 on course No. 2 in the morning round and carded a 74 on the par-72 No. 1 course for a total of 139.
The Vaqueros were paced by Evin Davis, who had rounds of 69 and 75 for a total of 144. His day included six birdies.
"In that first round, there was a little pressure knowing that we had to do well and have a good day today," said Davis, who helped the Vaqueros stand at fourth place after the first round. "We just had to get in the right mindset to get that low score. But for me, I was able to start to relax in that first round and just take it shot for shot."
Davis was followed by Andrew Salinas (74-74—148), Joel Yoo (74-77—151), Vincent Lam (75-82—157) and Khori Ellis (75-83—158) and Justin Sandon (85-73—158), who tied for the final scoring spot.
"I would have been proud of those guys even if we hadn't got that final spot today," Tyni said. "It is just a great group of guys and they have all worked very hard this season."