Canyons Claims Ninth State Title

Nobuhiko Wakaari of College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita captured the individual title and led the Cougars to their fourth California Community College Athletic Association Men’s State Golf Championship in the last seven years on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa.

Canyons claimed its ninth state title overall and has won in every odd-numbered year since 2013.

The Cougars posted a score of 371-363—734, 14-over-par, followed by Santa Barbara City College at 381-371—752, Cypress at 383-383—766 and Folsom Lake 384-384—768.

Canyons also claimed a 10th straight Western State Conference Championship and the California Community College Athletic Association Southern California Regional Championship among eight victories this season.

“The boys have been playing really well over the last three weeks,” Peterson said after completing his 34th season as Canyons head coach. “Our game plan was just to take the handcuffs off, and let them play and be aggressive. I’m very comfortable with the way these guys are, both as golfers and as individuals. Extremely proud of them today. Our game plan was to get them here and turn them loose.

“Every one of the tournaments we’ve played in the last three weeks, we’ve done better in the second 18, which is a sign of a really strong team. They’re strong physically and they’re strong mentally. They’re persistent. Our philosophy is, no matter how bad it is, stay positive, smile on your face, negative energy kills you, the last six holes are the most important holes of the whole tournament.

“They’re good golfers. They wanted to win. It was not like … ‘Let’s try to win.’ It was, ‘Let’s go win.’”

Mt. San Antonio totaled 382-389—771 to tie for fifth with Reedley, which finished at 381-390—771, while San Jose City College was sixth at 398-390—788, followed by Fresno City College at 402-392—794.

Wakaari, a freshman from Japan, claimed his seventh title of the season with a score of 73-69—142, 2-under, followed by Myoung Kim of Orange Coast at 72-73—145, while Lavigne Jules of Canyons shot 72-74—146 to tie for third with Anguerrand Voisin of Canyons, who wound up at 75-71—146.

“I’m really grateful to Coach (Peterson) and the team and everyone,” said Wakaari, who became the third Cougar to claim the state individual title, joining Sidney Wolf (2014) and Ben Campbell (2016). “I really appreciate these guys, as they play well. I’m really happy to win with these guys.”

Said Peterson: “He’s been dominant pretty much all season. He’s had a lot of rounds in the 60s.”

Trent Caraher of Santa Barbara finished at 75-72—147 to tie for fifth with David Marris of Cypress, who totaled 72-75—147, while Kyle Katz of Sierra was seventh at 75-73—148.

Theo Andre-Fouet of Santa Barbara shot 76-73—149 to tie for eighth with Tommy O’Rourke of Reedley, who wound up at 72-77—149, Han Lee of Mt. San Antonio at 72-77—149, and Brandon Kelly of Folsom Lake at 74-75—149.

Rounding out the scoring for team champion Canyons were Tom Sims, who carded a score of 75-75—150 to tie for 12th with teammate Matthew Mansholt, who finished at 76-74—150, while Jack Greene tied for 35th at 78-80—158.

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