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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Experienced men’s golf team sets lofty goals

Annie Maize Lee Gearhart, left, practices with his teamates Ricky Owaki, center, and Alistair Docherty to prepare for the upcoming season.
Annie Maize
Lee Gearhart, left, practices with his teamates Ricky Owaki, center, and Alistair Docherty to prepare for the upcoming season.

After ending the 2012-13 season two shots away from reaching nationals, the Chico State men’s golf team is looking nowhere but up.

The roster last year consisted of 13 players, nine of whom were freshmen. For most, the year provided growth, learning and an opportunity to gain experience playing at the collegiate level.

“Last year we had a down year for our program but had glimpses of promise that lead us to believe there is no reason we can’t achieve our biggest goal: bringing a national championship to Chico State,” said sophomore Lee Gearhart.

Now that the freshmen have had one year of collegiate play, they’ve set a high bar for themselves, said head coach T.L. Brown.

“Although reflecting on last year helps to make improvements and correct mistakes, the only focus we have is for the now and for this season,” Brown said. “We have set lofty goals for this season we really hope to accomplish, and with hard work and dedication, I believe we are capable of doing so.”

Four of the top golfers this season, including senior Ricky Owaki and sophomores Will Flitcroft, Alistair Docherty and Gearhart, said they all feel the same way: Having one more year of experience under their belts leads to high expectations for this year as they strive to do their best individually and as a team.

Each golfer said that they are prepared to start the year off strong after playing in several summer tournaments. Owaki competed in the Costa Mesa City Championship and took second place.

Flitcroft tied for second place in the U.S. Amateur Qualifying Tournament, Docherty took first in the Oregon Public Links Championship and Gearhart gained valuable experience in the Sacramento City Championship.

Successful summer tournaments and lots of practice help the team enter the year with the confidence required to take on the season one tournament at a time, Brown said. From the top down, the team is united and ready to work together to achieve the goals set for the year.

“It’s a huge battle we are looking forward to facing,” Brown said.

 

Jordyn Provence can be reached at [email protected] or @jordyprov on Twitter.

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