After a weekend of rainy weather, the sun was out on Tuesday when La Verne took first place in SCIAC No. 3 tournament at Sierra Lakes Golf Course.
The Leopards came back from a spring break tournament in Georgia where they got a lot of positive feedback from head coach Eric Riehle.
La Verne ended the day with a 15-stroke victory and a team score of 281, seven under par. Redlands and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps tied for second place with a score of 296 (+8).
Junior Andrew Roque and senior Eric Bunge finished in a three-way tie with Claremont Mudd Scripps player Tain Lee with a score of 69, three under par. Senior Matt Bernal finished in fourth place with a score of 71 one under par.
The Leopards played a Sierra Lakes a couple weeks prior to this tournament for a practice round, but it was some of the players first time playing this course.
“It got a little windy out here, but that is to be expected,” Bernal said. “The greens were a little bumpy.”
La Verne went to Georgia over spring break for the Jekyll Island Invitational where they finished in seventh place for the tournament. SCIAC No. 3 was the first tournament coming back from the break.
“We learned a lot from the Jekyll Island Invitational,” Bunge said. “We got a lot of good advice from coach and it paid off today having three of our players finish under par.”
Tuesday was the Leopards first win since they won SCIAC No. 1 on Feb. 14.
“We built up from Georgia and played well today,” Riehle said. “We were a little fatigued but everyone did good.”
Freshman Josh Haynes finished the day with a score of 75, three over par.
“I was four under through 13 holes, but then I struggled coming in and finished the day three over,” Haynes said. “I made a couple mistakes today, but I am on a comeback from a slump.”
“We had a rough start to the season, but everyone is getting better and better. It should be a good second half of the season,” Haynes added.
The Leopards have two more SCIAC tournaments, along with the UC Riverside Braveheart Classic before the SCIAC Championships.
SCIAC No. 4 is the next tournament for La Verne, on April 5 at the Brookside Golf Course in Pasadena.
The Leopards are currently ranked fifth nationally in the Golf World/Nike Golf Division III Top 25 Poll.
Cheryl Regan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.