The Estrella Mountain CC Invite, out at the Wigwam Red Course, during the third week of February, was the next tournament for Mesa Community College men’s golf.
After finishing second at the Gaucho Invitational, Mesa Community College (MCC) would compete in the Litchfield Park area. The Wigwam is a Par 72 course with 6852 yards of grass and littered with pine and eucalyptus trees, and water hazards. The T-birds would not have the same result as the previous tournament. According to the Wigwam Red Course, the closing four holes of the course offer the biggest challenge, 15-18.
Hole 15 is 414 yards and fairly straight but has bunkers on the left side within driving distance. Bunkers guard the green to the right and behind; so, the ball needs to be on the green with the next shot. The danger for Hole 16 is once again on the right with a giant water hazard. Pin location will determine how the player plays into the green.
The green has some collection areas, in the back, on both sides, with a bunker guarding the right half of the putting surface. Seventeen is a long Par-3, measuring 254-yards, with a green sloping toward the back.
The course finishes with the longest hole, a 591-yard dogleg left, with a perpendicular water hazard running thru the middle of the fairway. Be careful of the ridge that splits the putting surface when hitting into the green. The Thunderbirds would be third after the first round of competition with a team score of 301, 6-shots behind Eastern Arizona, 295, 2-shots behind South Mountain, 299, and Chandler-Gilbert nipping at MCC’s heals behind 1-shot, 302. The next day’s action would determine the outcome of the Estrella Mountain CC Invite. Mesa and South Mountain would shoot the same team-combined score of 304, dropping them both one spot to fourth and third.
Chandler-Gilbert would jump two spots and grasp second place in the tournament with a combined team score of 300 for the round and 602 for the tournament.
Eastern Arizona College would claim victory by seven shots after the two rounds of competition with a 595. Mesa would finish 29-strokes over par, 605, for the tournament and finish fourth in the Estrella Mountain CC Invite. Austin Hardman would shoot the low first round for the Thunderbirds with a 73, 1-over Par, 78 for round two, and finish eighth in the tournament. Jake Guess and Zane Smith would finish in a tie for 10 with four other golfers. Brad Pottle would return from injury in the last tournament and end up tied with teammate Ryan Porter and one other golfer for 27. Jake Aboud would be low man on the totem pole for the Thunderbirds.