Saddleback freshman men’s golfer Riley Murphy finished off his first season with the Gauchos with a solid finish at the state finals in Santa Maria on Monday afternoon. Murphy finished in a tie for 24th place in the state, the highest finish for a Saddleback player since 2008.
Murphy carded scores of 76 and 75 on Monday, finishing 12 strokes behind medalist Austin Grey of College of the Canyons. Riley entered the state finals rated as the No. 37 player from Southern California, but finished 15th among players from the SoCal region.
Murphy’s 24th place finish was the best finish at the state meet by a Saddleback golfer since Nick Ellis finished in a tie for 3rd place back in 2008.
Saddleback freshman men’s golfer Riley Murphy had a solid day on Monday at the Southern California Regional Finals when he finished fifth out of 58 players in the field at Glendora Country Club. The finish qualified him for the state finals next Monday in Santa Maria.
Murphy was the top finisher from the Orange Empire Conference, shooting a 1-over-par (145) and finishing five strokes back of the medalist, Malcolm Kokocinski (COD). He shot even par in round one while firing a 73 in round two, making seven birdies over the 36-hole event. Murphy was in contention at -2 through 29 holes before making three straight bogies to finish in fifth.
"Riley played great," head coach Mike Rae (pictured right) said. "He is the kind of kid that can get hot, and stay hot."
With the top 16 players advancing to the state finals next Monday at Santa Maria Country Club, Murphy is one of only three players from the OEC to make the field.
The lone other Gaucho to play in the SoCal Finals on Monday was Tommy Hug, who finished in a tie for 36th place after shooting 80-76.
Two members of the Saddleback College men's golf team will advance to Monday's (May 7) Southern California regional championship tournament at the Glendora Country Club and try to earn a spot at the State Championship which will take place on Monday, May 14, at the Santa Maria Country Club. Both events will follow a one-day, 36-hole championship format.
Riley Murphy fired rounds of 75-75 at the Orange Empire Conference championship to finish the year as one of the top 10 golfers in the conference. He earned all-conference recognition and a trip to the regional event as an individual.
Tommy Hug missed earning all-conference honors but he did earn medalist honors at the conference championship, firing rounds of 73 and 69 to finish with a 36-hole total of 2-under-par to win the event by two strokes over Jaime Moreno of Orange Coast (70-74). By winning the conference championship event, Hug earns an individual trip to the regional championship at Glendora.
As a team, Saddleback finished sixth on the north course with a score of 386 but improved to fourth on the south course with a score of 382, thanks in part to Hug's 3-under-par 69. The Gauchos finished the year at seventh place in the conference standings.
Saddleback finished seventh in the eight-team field at the Orange Empire Conference match hosted by Irvine Valley at the Green River golf course, wrapping up the conference regular-season schedule. All OEC teams will participate in the conference championship tournament on Monday, April 30, at the Los Serranos golf course in Chino.
Tommy Hug and Brian Boermeester each carded five-over-par 77's to lead the Gauchos while Riley Murphy and Joe Yoshihiro both came into the clubhouse with 80's.
Saddleback had a team score of 395, five strokes behind Cuyamaca (390) in sixth place and 19 strokes ahead of Irvine Valley (414) in eighth place.
The OEC Championship at Los Serranos will be a one-day, 36-hole championship event.
The Saddleback men's golf team slipped to a seventh place finish at Monday's Orange Empire Conference match played on the El Prado golf course after posting a team score of 388.
It was the tightest match of the year in the OEC, with all eight teams finishing within 21 strokes of each other. Just one stroke separated each team from fourth place through eighth place.
Brian Boermeester led the Gauchos with a 2-over-par 74 while Riley Murphy and Ryan Staley each carded 75's.
The team will have a week off to practice before playing in the final OEC match on April 18 at Green River. The 36-hole OEC championship tournament will be played on April 30 at Los Serranos.
Saddleback placed 12th at the 18-team Glendora Invitational yesterday in what may have been a quick preview of what the Southern California regional tournament might look like in May.
The Gauchos carded a team score of 400 which was 40 strokes behind winner Glendale College (360). College of the Canyons placed second (369) with Santa Barbara City College placing third (370). Six Orange Empire Conference teams participated in the event, with three finishing ahead of Saddleback and two finishing behind.
Tommy Hug led the Gauchos with a 5-over-par 77 while Ryan Murphy carded a 79. Ryan Staley and Joe Yoshihiro each netted 80's.
Saddleback returns to OEC play on Monday, April 2, at the Victoria Country Club in Riverside.
The men’s golf team has been playing better as of late, and finished a close fourth at the Orange Empire Conference match at Santa Ana Country Club on Wednesday. Riley Murphy led the Gauchos with a round of 75, finishing fourth among the field.
Saddleback finished just six shots out of second place and 12 behind conference leader Orange Coast on a day when scores were a big higher than expected. Murphy’s 75 was only three shots off the lead of the pace set by Orange Coast’s Marcus Mercado-Kiel and Irvine Valley’s Crockett Stearns, who tied for medalist honors on the day. The round moved Murphy up to No. 17 in the season conference individual standings, averaging 77.8 for the season.
Other Gauchos that played strong on the day were Tommy Hug with a round of 77 and Ryan Beckies, who finished at 79.
Saddleback is now 17-18 in Orange Empire Conference play. The Gauchos will play again on April 2 at Victoria Country Club.
Orange Coast, 383
Santiago Canyon, 389
Irvine Valley, 435
Usually, the narrow back nine along the ridge at the Tijeras Creek Golf Club provides an advantage to the Saddleback College men's golf team which uses the track as its home course. But today's Orange Empire Conference match proved most treacherous for the Gauchos which placed sixth in the 8-team field.
Saddleback posted a team score of 404 with only one player, Ryan Staley, able to break 80. Staley posted a 2-over-par 74 to finish just three shots behind the event medalist. However, Saddleback slipped to 3-11 in the conference standings and was able to pick up only two wins at home. The Gauchos earned a card-off victory over Santiago Canyon (404) and easily finished ahead of Irvine Valley (435).
Cypress won the event with a team score of 373, followed by Orange Coast (378), Riverside (393), and Palomar (395). Cuyamaca (402) edged Saddleback and will be the host school on Monday, March 12, for the next OEC event.