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Golf teams prepare for second half of season

Two-time All-American senior Alistair Docherty tees off for the Wildcats. Photo credit: T.L. Brown

Men’s Golf

The Chico State men’s golf team is in a very nice position heading into the second half of the season. After finishing the first half of their season with two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes, the Wildcats are now ranked first in the nation.

Chico State men’s head golf coach T.L. Brown is happy with how his team finished out the first portion of its season. Brown also wants his team to stay focused on the main goal which is bringing an NCAA championship to Chico State.

Chico State men's golf team celebrates a second place finish at the Cal State San Marcos Cougar Invitational. Photo credit: T.L. Brown

“The goal for our team is to win championships,” Brown said. “It’s nice being ranked No. 1, but at the end of the day they don’t remember your rankings. They remember what you did in the postseason.”

Senior Alistair Docherty, a two-time All-American, says the success that the team had in the beginning of the season gives them a lot of confidence going forward.

“In the first half of the season, we saw that we can go out and win by multiple shots,” Docherty said. “Having that confidence in each other, knowing all of us can go out there and put up good numbers, gives us a lot of confidence going into the second part of our season.”

Chico State senior and All-American Justin Wiles looks to improve his score on the day. Photo credit: T.L. Brown

The Wildcats, who have three All-American seniors, have been getting a lot of production out of their younger players, helping the team immensely.

“We are getting some solid golf out of our younger players, and that is really exciting,” Brown said.

Chico State placed second overall in its first tournament of the second half of the season. Senior All-American Lee Gearhart won the tournament shooting a -3.

“There’s no doubt we are getting better every day, and our depth is so much better this year making match play and a national title much more possible,” Docherty said.

Women’s Golf

The first half of the women’s season was a very big learning process mainly because the team has only two seniors. The team is growing together and trying to get over that hump and win a tournament.

That being said, they still played exceptionally well, finishing in the top four in all four tournaments in the first half of the season.

Chico State women's golf team finished fifth in San Antonio on Tuesday, Feb. 16. Photo credit: Nick Green

Women’s head golf coach Nick Green felt they should have won a few of those tournaments but they simply got outplayed in the end.

“In the first half of our season, we put ourselves in positions to win these tournaments but other teams just played better than us,” Green said.

First-year Emily Rotter believes she can take a lot from that first half of the season and apply it to her game going forward.

“Those first few tournaments were definitely a learning curve for me and some of the younger players,” Rotter said. “One of the biggest things that I’ve learned so far is that one bad round won’t ruin your whole season, there’s always a lot more golf to be played.”

In their first match of the second half of the season, the Wildcats placed fifth with an incredible second-day effort. Senior Dani O’Keefe placed 11th shooting 12-over par.

The Wildcats would like to get that first tournament win as a confidence booster just to show themselves that they can do it.

“One thing that would help us just on a confidence level would be to get that first tournament win,” Green said. “We have gotten so close but need to find that consistency over two rounds.”

Jason Spies can be reached at [email protected] or @Jason_Spies on Twitter.

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