By Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — College of the Canyons freshman Jones Comerford finished the day with a three-under-par round of 69 to lead the Cougars to a California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional Championship at Bakersfield Country Club on Monday.
The regional title is the sixth in program history and fourth in the last five years. Canyons last won the SoCal Championship in 2016.
Comerford, the Western State Conference Player of the Year, also brought home the individual regional championship with his 36-hole score of 143. The combined two-round score left him one-under on the day.
That mark was two-strokes better than the score of 145 turned in by both Myoung Kim of Orange Coast College and Matt Rafter of Cypress College, who tied for second-place.
Comerford follows in the footsteps of former COC golfers Sydney Wolf and Will Barnett who won individual regional titles in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
As a team, Canyons finished the day with a five-man, 36-hole score of 747 (374/373) to top the 10-team field by 11 strokes. Cypress (758), Orange Coast (761) and Riverside City College (774) rounded out the top four and will each advance to next week's CCCAA State Championships in Goleta.
They will be joined by CCCAA Northern California Regional Champion Reedley College, along with Monterey Peninsula College, Chabot College and Sierra College from the north.
COC opened up the morning round with a five-man tally of 374, in which every player shot rounds in the 70s.
Jack Roycroft and Comerford both finished at 74 to lead the way, while Corey Haase and Michael Lindgren carded rounds of 75. Clayton Kucera finished at 76 to crowd the leaderboard with Cougars heading into the final 18 holes.
Comerford's afternoon round of 69 helped set the tone the rest of the way. Lindgren at 74 and Kucera at 75 both represented single-stroke improvements from their opening 18 holes. Roycroft at 77 and Haase at 78 ended the Cougar's day at 373.
Clemente Yanes also competed for the Cougars with rounds of 81 and 78 on the day.
The defending state champion Cougars will be competing at the CCCAA State Championships for the seventh straight season and the 23rd time in program history, all coming under COC head coach Gary Peterson.
The string of eight straight state championship tourney appearances matches the COC program's streak which ran from the 1996 to 2002 seasons and included two state championships (2000 and 2002).
The Cougars will be looking to claim the program's ninth state championship, and fourth in the last six years when action gets underway at Sandpiper Golf Course in Goleta.
COC had a chance to preview the state championship course during last month's Sandpiper Invitational, hosted by Santa Barbara City College on April 9. The Cougars turned in a score of 381 at the event to finish 10 strokes back of Cypress (371). Riverside City College (376) was the runner up followed by Monterey Peninsula (378) in third place.
The CCCAA State Championships will tee off at 7 a.m. Monday, May 14.
1. Canyons (747 – 374/373) 2. Cypress (758 – 378/380) 3. Orange Coast (761 – 382/379) 4. Riverside (774 – 379/395) 5. Ventura (781 – 391/390) 6. Palomar (785 – 403/382)
7. Desert (796 – 392/404) 8. SBCC (801 – 401/400) 9. Allan Hancock (810 – 404/406).
CANYONS INDIVIDUAL SCORES
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