Mesa CC Legend
Mesa Community College (MCC) Men’s golf hits the rye grass at Wickenburg’s Los Caballeros Golf Club to begin the 2018 season, after winning a DII National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Championship last season. It was a perfect day at the Gaucho Invitational and despite some painful decisions the day before, the Thunderbirds left the course with a positive mindset for the remainder of the season. The Thunderbirds started the second day down 4-strokes to Eastern Arizona College (EAC) after the first round of play. South Mountain Community College (SMCC) would trail the Thunderbirds by 3-strokes. Pin placement on the final day was the deciding factor of the tournament. Mesa would put up a combined first round of 311 strokes. They started the day with six guys teeing off. Bradley Pottle withdrew in the first round of the tournament due to injury.
Pottle would hit a shot into the bunker and end up with an unfavorable position. He would be close to the lip of the bunker. When he hit his bunker shot, his club stuck in the lip and torqued his wrist enough to cause swelling and an inability to swing a club. Even though Pottle withdrew from competition, the team did not suffer. The Thunderbirds only capture the four lowest scores of the round. As the rules show if you play six guys, two scores will eventually be irrelevant per round. The second round was less cumbersome as the players only had to battle the course and not the wind. The top three teams would be the last ones to hit the course, the SMCC Cougars, the MCC Thunderbirds and the EAC Gila Monsters. Each went out in threesomes with one player from each team. Only two of the men would lower their scores on the second and final day despite the lack of wind.
“On the final day of the event there were some extremely difficult/unfair pin placements that proved to [be] challenging”, Jake Guess, an MCC returning player said, Even though the pins were difficult, SMCC seemed to handle them the best. Ryan Bailey would shoot par, 72, for his second round, knocking off 10-strokes from the day before. They would lower their team score by 16 strokes in the final day of play and capture the Gaucho Invitational. The golf team only has two members returning to the team from last year’s roster, Guess and Pottle. Jake Aboud, who red-shirted last year, said, “It’s an honor to be on the team, and I enjoy the camaraderie between all of my teammates.” “We have the talent to be successful,” said Coach John Guerrero “I’m expecting from the men who played in the national championship last year to lead by example through positive attitudes and work ethic. ACT like a champion! OUTWORK the competition.”