By NICK MEYERS
Men feel heat in Sun City
Pima Community College men’s golf team came in behind five other teams at the Glendale Invitational Feb. 20- 21.
The Aztecs performed consistently over the weekend, with two-day totals ranging from 149 to 151 and one-day totals from 74 to 76.
Freshman Gabe Borboa lead the Aztecs with a score 5-over par at 149, which tied him for 13th individually.
Following the tournament, the Aztecs are fifth in conference standings, yet Coach Clark Rustand is optimistic about the improvement of the players on the team.
“We are close to playing really good golf, unfortunately we’re just making a few too many correctable mistakes that prevent us from competing,” Rustand said. “I’m happy where we are and where we are going, we just need to tighten down a bit.”
The Aztecs’ next opportunity comes at home with the Pima Invitational March 3-4 at Silverbell Golf Course. The action begins at 8:30 a.m. both days.
Women take second at Paradise Valley
Pima Community College women’s golf team took second place in the Paradise Valley Invitational on Feb 25.
Sophomore Josie Trapnell finished in seventh place, one spot shy of the medals.
PCC is now ranked second overall behind Mesa Community College.
Pima also finished second against six teams while hosting the first tournament of the season Feb. 10-11.
The Aztecs finished the two-day tournament at Silverbell Golf Course with a two-day score of 709. The team had a 9-stroke improvement on the second day, from 359 to 350.
Trapnell took 10th place with a total of 170. She trailed first place by 20 strokes and was five strokes away from taking home a medal.
Freshman Marta Felix improved five strokes from 88 to 83 for a total of 171. She finished 11th individually.
Sophomore Brittney Makar tied for 14th individually with a score of 179, while freshman Paige Valles finished 17th with a total of 189.
The Aztecs will next compete during the Scottsdale Invitational at the Hillcrest Golf Course on March 9-10.
By NICK MEYERS
The Pima Community College Men’s Golf Team took its first swing at the new season with the first tournament on Feb. 3-4.
The Aztecs struggled in the first round but made a spirited comeback in the second, for fourth place in the tournament at Legacy Golf Course in Laveen, Ariz.
The team finished with a combined score of 305 for last place in the first round but tied for the lowest round score in the second day with a team score of 288.
Sophomore David Chung led the team in the first round with a score of 70 and followed up with 74 in the second for a seventh place individual finish and the lowest two-day total on the team, 144.
Freshman Ben Bradford shot three straight birdies in the second round and tied for the lowest score of the day with 68 strokes. He tied for 17th individually with a total of 148.
The team’s new head coach, Clark Rustand, was inspired by the comeback and is excited to see how tournament experience will help players improve upon an already solid bed of talent.
Chung and teammates sophomore Tyler Cooper and sophomore Anthony Moncada are the team’s returning players who Rustand hopes will help anchor the team. Cooper placed 31st with 155 in the tournament and Moncada finished in 11th with 146.
Rustand played golf for Utah Valley State College, where he finished 12th as an All-American in Nationals, and Brigham Young University where he was ranked among the top five junior college golfers in the country before playing as both an amateur and professional golfer.
“I am very excited to be coaching again. The players on this team have a ton of talent, and it’s my job to help them reach their goals,” Rustand said.
Glendale Community College is hosting the next tournament at Sun City South Golf Course on Feb. 20-21 in Sun City, Ariz.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College men’s golf team finished in second place at Tucson’s Silverbell Golf Course on April 14-15.
The Aztecs finished the tournament with a combined score of 563. South Mountain Community College took first place with a 543, while Mesa Community College finished third at 564.
“The kids played great, and they’re playing to their capabilities,” head coach Grant Waltke said. “We have to play good, if not better, at regionals than we have done, and I believe they’ll shine at nationals.”
Sophomore Joseph Courtney finished the tournament in fourth place, shooting a 137.
Fellow sophomore Sean Mullen shot the next best score with a 142, and sophomore Austin Stuessel carded a 146.
Stuessel improved his score by eight strokes on the second day by shooting a team-low 69.
“Well, I think we played OK,” Courtney said. “Not quite to our potential, but we did fine.”
Courtney will look to defend his NJCAA Region 1 championship at Sidewinder Golf Course in Gold Canyon, Ariz., on April 25-28.
“I think regionals are going to be great,” he said. “The course sets up well for us, and we feel comfortable out there.”
On the women’s side, the Aztecs locked up a spot in nationals by finishing in second place at Palm Valley Golf Course in Phoenix.
The Aztecs came from 15 strokes back to claim second by shooting a combined score of 367 on the second day, finishing the tournament with a total of 745.
Freshman Josie Trapnell shot a team-best 170, which allowed her to medal for the fifth time in six tournaments.
Sophomore Shelby Empens finished with a 182, while fellow sophomore Abriana Romero totaled 188 over the two days.
“I feel the team still has not hit their potential, but we are excited about regionals and are gearing up for the opportunity to represent PCC,” Trapnell said.
The Aztecs will close out the regular season in Phoenix at Toka Sticks Golf Course in a tournament hosted by Chandler-Gilbert Community College on April 22-23.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College men’s golf team had a strong performance on April 1-2 at the Toka Sticks Golf Course in Phoenix.
The Aztecs totaled 571 strokes to place second in a nine-team field, one stroke ahead of South Mountain Community College. Scottsdale Community College took first-place honors with a combined 567.
Sophomore Joe Courtney finished in third position with a two-day total of 140 (73-67).
Freshman Tyler Cooper shot a 1-under-par 69 on day one, and placed fifth overall with a 143. Fellow freshman David Chung took sixth after carding a 144 over both days.
On the women’s side, PCC placed second in a six-team tournament at Hillcrest Golf Course in Sun City on March 25-26.
Mesa Community College took first-place honors. For the Aztecs, it was the third time they’ve finished second in their five tournaments this season.
Freshman Josie Trapnell finished third overall with a two-day total of 162 (81-81). She has medaled in four tournaments this year.
Sophomore Abriana Romero totaled 174 for the tourney, while fellow sophomore Shelby Empens shot 175.
“We played steady both days,” head coach Bill Nicol said. “We’ve been a solid second for the year, and we hope that continues.”
Nicol said one more second-place finish would make Pima a lock for the NJCAA national tournament in Mesa on May 13-16.
Pima next tees it up at Toka Sticks in a tournament hosted by Chandler-Gilbert Community College on April 22-23.
“I think we’ll do very well,” Nicol said. “We’ve been getting better every week.
“The girls have been working very hard and improving, so I’m very glad to see that.”
The men’s squad will host a tournament at Tucson’s Silverbell Golf Course on April 14-15.
“I feel pretty good about getting our first victory this week,” head coach Grant Waltke said.
“This is our home course, and we know it better than anyone else.
“The guys are starting to think better and use better course management. We should win this one.”
The first day’s competition is slated to begin at 11 a.m. Day two is scheduled for a 10 a.m. start.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College women’s golf team finished in second place at a six-team tournament at the Hillcrest Golf Course in Sun City on March 25-26.
It was the third time in five tournaments this season that Pima has finished as runner-up.
Freshman Josie Trapnell finished third with a 162. Sophomore Abriana Romero had a 174, while fellow sophomore Shelby Empens totaled 175 for the two-day event.
“We played steady both days,” head coach Bill Nicol said. “We’ve been a solid second for the year, and we hope that continues.”
Nicol said he believes the team will be a lock for the national tournament in Daytona Beach, Fla., with one more second-place finish.
The Aztecs came in fourth place at a tournament hosted by Paradise Valley Community College in Cave Creek, Ariz., on March 11-12.
PCC finished with a team total of 765 strokes.
“We are still in second place in the division, but we can’t afford another performance like that,” Nicol said after the tourney.
Trapnell led the Aztecs with a two-day total of 179 strokes. It was the first time she hasn’t medaled this season.
Romero and Empens shot 194 and 189, respectively, while freshman Brittney Makar carded a 203.
The Aztecs played at a tournament in Mesa on March 9-10, rallying from 19 strokes down on the final day to take second place. PCC shot a 697, while Mesa Community College won the tournament with a final score of 641.
Trapnell again medaled by finishing in third place with 163 strokes. In her previous two tournaments, Trapnell has finished third and second, respectively.
Romero finished the tournament with a 7-stroke improvement over the first day to total 171. Empens shot a 176, Makar had a 187.
On the men’s side, the Aztecs finished fifth out of nine teams at the Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa on March 9-10. The Aztecs shot a combined score of 578.
Sophomore Joe Courtney finished in seventh place, shooting a 4-under-par 140.
Freshman Tyler Cooper shot an even-par 144 for the tournament, while sophomore Austin Stuessel posted a three-stroke improvement on day two to finish with a 145.
With only two tournaments left before regionals, the Aztecs are fine-tuning their games in preparation.
“I think they will do well. They are ready to perform,” said head coach Grant Waltke
The women next play in a tournament hosted by Estrella Mountain Community College on April 10-11 at Palm Valley Golf Club in Phoenix. Competition is scheduled to begin at noon on both days.
The men will tee it up at the Toka Sticks Golf Course in Mesa on April 1-2. Chandler-Gilbert Community College will host the tourney, which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. both days.
April 1-2: @ Chandler-Gilbert CC, Phoenix, 11 a.m. both days
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Pima Community College golfer Josie Trapnell isn’t your average freshman. The 50-year-old Minnesota native has come a long way to get to where she is now.
Trapnell has been playing sports her entire life. In her earlier years she played rugby, softball, hockey and was on a traveling broomball team, which is a sport similar to hockey.
She and her broomball team traveled throughout Canada playing other teams. That was cut short when she needed hip surgery.
It wasn’t until her husband Joseph introduced her to the game of golf about seven years ago that she picked up the game, and she has been playing ever since.
When Trapnell found out that Pima was hurting for female golfers, she decided to enroll and join the team.
One might think that being so much older than her fellow teammates would be weird for Trapnell, but that’s not the case.
“I thought so at first,” she said. “The girls accepted me and made me feel really welcome.”
Trapnell is studying to get her coaching degree. She also volunteers at The First Tee, which is a youth-development organization that provides educational programs and seeks to promote healthy lifestyle choices through the game of golf.
“I want to coach youth,” she said. “I want to help in the progress of all kids to become better golfers.”
The student, wife and mother of 11-year-old twins also runs her own business, JT Architectural Sales, with her husband. The company sells commercial supplies for businesses, such as bathroom hand dryers.
Even while juggling all these responsibilities, she still finds time to get to the driving range for practice.
She has many goals that she wants to accomplish before her golfing days are done — from being the best mother she can be to helping her husband run a successful business, along with helping Arizona’s youth become better golfers and also becoming the best golfer she can be.
“I want to get better,” she said, “to get more comfortable in tournaments.”
So far she has finished second overall in her first two tournaments as an Aztec. It seems clear that when this woman puts her mind to something, there is nothing that can get in her way.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College women’s golf team placed second in the two-day tournament it hosted on Feb. 25-26 at the Silverbell Golf Course.
Freshman Josie Trapnell shot 160 for the tourney, good enough for second place overall.
Also for Pima, sophomore Abriana Romero had a 177, sophomore Shelby Empens shot 182, and freshman Brittney Makar carded a 186 for the two days.
In their first tournament of the season, the Aztecs finished in second place out of six teams at Legacy Golf Course in Laveen, Ariz.
Pima shot a combined score of 719, while Mesa Community College’s total of 673 won it. South Mountain Community College finished third with a score of 744.
“Pretty good. They all are capable of doing better,” said head coach Bill Nicol of his team’s performance in Laveen.
One of the bright spot for the Aztecs came from Trapnell. She finished third out of 24 players with a score of 167. She shot an 84 on the first day and 83 on the second.
Other finishers for PCC were Romero and Empens at 179 and 183, respectively, and Makar at 190.
Nicol feels his players need to work on their short games before their next tournament. He believes all of them are capable of playing better golf then what they showed last week.
The women hope to improve on their strong start to the season when they play again on March 9-10 at Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa.
Nicol spoke to the possibility of his team getting its first victory of the season there.
“It’s going to be tough to do, but we are going to work on doing it,” he said.
On the men’s side, the Aztecs finished second in a tournament at Legacy on Feb. 18-19, 16 strokes behind winner South Mountain.
Freshman Tyler Cooper led the Aztecs with a two-day total of 144, while fellow freshman Henry Cunningham finished at 146.
After posting an 80 on day one, sophomore Joe Courtney came back with a 70 on the second day.
On the first day, Cunningham had a rare hole-in-one on the fourth hole.
“I was there to see, me and about 50 other people,” said head coach Grant Waltke of the ace.
The women’s team will tee it up at Tucson’s Silverbell Golf Club for a tournament on Feb. 25-26, while the men travel to Sun City on March 4-5 for their next competition.
Mar 4-5: @ Glendale CC, Sun City, noon
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Golf season is finally here, and the Pima Community College men’s and women’s teams are ready to get out on the links.
The men’s squad wants to improve on a second-place finish at regionals last year, along with a fourth-place ACCAC showing.
“We have a darn good team,” head coach Grant Waltke said. “We have a chance to win it all — regionals and conference.”
The Aztecs are led by sophomore Joseph Courtney. Newcomers to keep an eye on are freshmen James Cooper, Henry Cunningham and David Chung.
Sophomore Landyn Lewis may be the most improved player.
Waltke credits Lewis’ concentration. “It’s amazing what you can do when you put some practice in,” he said.
PCC opened its season Feb. 4-5 in a six-team tournament in Sun City, finishing fourth with a team score of 589. South Mountain Community College took first, totaling 556 strokes.
Courtney finished at an even-par 144 over the two days, good enough to tie for seventh position.
Cooper came in 12th with a 146. Cunningham shot 149, Lewis had 153, sophomore Sean Mullen finished at 154 and sophomore Austin Stuessel had 158.
This will be Waltke’s final year coaching the Aztecs.
“Twenty-three years — I figure at 71 years of age, it’s time to pass it on to someone else,” he said.
Head women’s coach Bill Nichol is also feeling optimistic.
“I’m looking forward to a real good year,” Nichol said. “We’ll find out how we stack up, but we have some very solid players.”
With four golfers on the squad, the women can also look forward to qualifying for a team score at this year’s meets, unlike last year. Four is the minimum to qualify for a team score.
Sophomores Shelby Empens and Abriana Romero return to anchor the squad.
“They’re both extremely solid players,” Nichol said.
The newcomers are freshmen Brittney Makar and Josie Trapnell.
Nichol said Makar hits a “good, long ball.” Trapnell is a nontraditional student returning to school to get her coaching certificate.
Feb. 11-12: @ South Mountain CC (Laveen, Ariz.)
Feb. 18-19: @ South Mountain CC (Laveen, Ariz.)
By MYLO ERICKSON
After closing out the final regular season tournament, one of the three women who play golf for Pima Community College will head to nationals.
Freshman Abriana Romero was one of 20 individual players selected to compete in Daytona Beach, Fla., on May 14-17.
“Obviously it’s an honor to go and I’m both excited and nervous,” Romero said. “I’m excited about the experience, but I’m nervous about the level of difficulty.”
Romero was also named to the All-ACCAC second team.
At nationals, Romero will play on the LPGA International Legends Golf Course.
“The only thing new for her may be an alligator or two,” head coach Bill Nicol said.
The LPGA course is a bit longer than some courses that PCC played on during the season, Nicol said. About 160 women of varying skill levels from across the country will compete.
Nicol and Romero’s mother will be in Daytona to support Romero during the four-day tournament.
She will also receive support from her teammates, sophomore Alondra Olivas and freshman Shelby Empens. They asked her to text her results after each day so they can talk to her about it.
Romero had the best finish for the Aztecs in the final season tournament played at Hillcrest Golf Course in Phoenix. The tournament was hosted by Scottsdale Community College.
The eight-team women’s golf conference doesn’t hold regional playoffs.
Both Romero and Empens will return to the team next season, Nicol said. Olivas has used her two-year eligibility.
Nicol hopes more women will join the team, but said he’ll have to wait and see.
He was upset to lose players at the beginning of the current season, but said the remaining players dealt with it and moved on.
“The ones that stayed learned some things and had a good time,” he said.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College men’s golf team had its best performance this season at the Region 1 tournament at the Sidewinder Golf Course in Gold Canyon, Ariz., where they took second place.
With the second place victory Pima qualified for the NJCAA national tournament, which will be played in Newton, Kan., at the Sand Creek Station Golf Course on May 12-19.
Pima had another reason to celebrate, as freshman Joseph Courtney took first place overall as an individual.
“I put a lot of work in on my golf game and it paid off,” Courtney said. “I was just elated to come away with the win.”
The Aztecs started the regional tournament on April 26 in second place. They shot 310 as a team, which was 24 strokes behind first place.
Courtney finished his first day shooting two over par with a 73, which was good enough to tie him for third. First place was at 69.
Sophomore Adam Ortiz finished off the first day shooting six over par with a 77.
On the second day of the tournament, Pima stayed in second place while shooting a team score of 301.
The Aztecs shot a two-day total of 611, 36 strokes behind first place. The Aztecs were ahead of third-place Eastern Arizona College by eight strokes.
Courtney shot a three under par with a 68, which was enough for him to take sole possession of second place. He trailed first place by two strokes.
He was then one under par for the tournament with a two day total of 141.
On the third day of the tournament, the Aztecs were able to hold on to second place for the tournament.
Pima shot 303 as a team for the third day and were nine strokes ahead of third-place Eastern. Pima was 48 strokes behind first-place Scottsdale Community College.
Courtney took the lead for individuals on the third day after shooting an even par with a 71. He led the second-place individual by two strokes.
He had a three-day total of 212 at that point.
Pima had its best day on the fourth day of the tournament, shooting a team total of 299 for the day, giving them a four day total of 1,213 as a team.
Courtney locked up first place individually when he birdied both the 17th and 18th holes to finish off the final day one over par with a 72.
That put him at even par for the four-day tournament with a total of 284.
“He finally put it all together,” head coach Grant Waltke said.
The Aztecs also received a great day from freshman Austin Stuessel, who also shot a one over par with a 72.
Pima will now continue its season in the NJCAA national tournament on May 12-19.
Courtney, Ortiz, Stuessel, and freshmen Landyn Lewis and Jonathan Chong Jr. will attend.
“The guys are anxious to get to nationals, to see what they can do,” Waltke said.
He hopes they finish in the top 10.
By MYLO ERICKON
The Pima Community College women’s golf played in its sixth tournament of the year on April 9-10, yet again without enough players to establish a team score.
They played at the par-72 Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa in a tournament hosted by Mesa Community College.
Freshman Abriana Romero had the best first-day score for Pima, shooting a 98. Sophomore Alondra Olivas finished the day with a 99.
Freshman Shelby Empens shot 100. She cut 12 strokes from her score on the back nine.
The women improved their second-day stroke totals.
Olivas shot an 89, with a season-best 39 on the back nine.
“I was super excited for her,” head coach Bill Nicol said.
Romero shot a 91 and Empens finished with a 92.
Romero, who has the highest stroke average for the Pima women, still has a chance to advance to nationals by claiming the conference’s fifth individual spot.
Pima will play in its seventh and final tournament of the year on April 23-24. Scottsdale Community College will host the tournament at Hillcrest Golf Course in Sun City West.
Nicol has never been to this course, but noticed lots of water hazards after an online check.
“It’s kind of like playing a desert course, but you can’t get your ball back,” he said.
Nicol has enjoyed working with his players this season, and said the women often receive compliments.
“One person told me that they’re the three nicest people in the league,” Nicol said. “That’s always great to hear.”
April 23-24: @ Scottsdale Community College, Sun City West, Hillcrest Golf Course, 11 a.m.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College men’s golf team finished its final tournament of the season with a two-day total of 619, which was good enough for sixth place.
Mesa Community College hosted the tournament at Longbow Golf Course in Mesa.
On the first day of the tournament, Pima ended in sixth place with a total of 309.
The team was two strokes behind fifth-place Paradise Valley Community College and seven strokes behind fourth-place Mesa.
Sophomore Adam Ortiz had the best score the Aztecs on the first day, shooting one over par with a 72, which was good enough to tie for second place individually.
On the first day, five players were tied for the lead with 71. Six players were tied for second with 72.
The next best for the Aztecs was freshman Landyn Lewis, who shot six over par with a 77 for his first-day score.
On the second day of the tournament, Pima finished with a total of 308. That was one stroke better than its first day.
Lewis had the best second-day score for the Aztecs, shooting three over par with a 74. He ended with a two day total of 151.
Ortiz shot four over par with a 75 for the second day. He ended with the best overall score for Pima with a two-day total of 147.
No Pima player managed to crack the top 10 individually.
The tournament finished off the regular season tournaments for Pima.
The Aztecs will be heading to Sidewinder Golf Course in Gold Canyon, Ariz., on April 26-29 to compete in the NJCAA Region 1 tournament.
By MYLO ERICKSON
Women’s golf hosts tournament
The Pima Community College women’s golf team hosted the fifth tournament of the season at Silverbell Golf Course on March 26-27.
Once again the Aztecs were unable to qualify for a team score as they do not have enough players to do so.
None of the girls was able to crack the top 10 for individuals, either. However, they all did improve on their first day scores by at least one stroke.
Freshman Shelby Empens had the best first day for the Aztecs, shooting 45 on the first nine and then shooting a 47 on the back half, for a total of 92.
Next best for Pima was freshman Abriana Romero, who shot 47 on the first nine and 46 on the back portion, for a total of 93 on the day.
Romero played with a stiff neck.
She had hurt her neck over the previous weekend.
“The first day was pretty rough,” Romero said, “I just got back from an injury; I strained a muscle in my neck, so I was on a lot medication and felt really stiff.”
Sophomore Alondra Olivas managed a 48 on the first half of the course, but ended up struggling on the second half, taking 62 strokes.
That left her first day score at 110.
With the second day of the tournament reaching temperatures of about 82 degrees during the day, the Aztecs improved on their games.
The occasional breeze would blow by. However the nice, cool breeze was immediately followed by the stench of sewage and nasty pond water.
Romero led the charge by shooting 46 on the front half and shooting a 42 on the back nine, for a total of 88. Improving upon her first day total by five stokes.
Empens also improved by taking 48 strokes to complete the first nine and then taking 43 on the back nine, for a total of 91. That improved on her first day by one stroke.
“I did a lot better than I’ve been doing in a lot of the tournaments, which I was really excited about,” Empens said. “I didn’t get as nervous for this one.”
Olivas also improved on her first day total by five strokes. She shot a 53 on the first half of the course and then a 52 on the second, leaving her score at 105.
“I had quite a few three putts, which is not normal — that shouldn’t be happening,” Olivas said. “You drive for show and putt for dough.”
It was a nice change of pace for the Aztecs, as they did not have to travel back home from Phoenix after this tournament.
By the end of the year, they will have traveled out of town for six of the seven tournaments.
“We just saved a three-hour drive home tonight, so I like that,” head coach Bill Nicol said.
Romero has a shot at making it to nationals this year, as there are 20 players taken. Those 20 are made up of three teams that take five players and then five individuals who have the best accumulated scores.
As of right now, Romero is sitting in that fifth player spot.
Nicol and the women plan to continue working on their game, as they will be back practicing at Randolph Golf Course.
The golf courses in the Phoenix area tend to play a little more like Randolph, Nicol said.
Pima will be heading back out of town on April 9-10 when it plays at Dobson Ranch Golf Course in Mesa.
Men’s golf places eighth
The Pima Community College men’s golf team took eighth place in a tournament at Mount Graham Golf Course in Safford, on April 2 and 3.
The tournament was hosted by Eastern Arizona College.
Pima had a team total of 618 with one player collecting a medal.
Sophomore Adam Ortiz took sixth place at the tournament, shooting a 76 on the first day and shooting an even par of 72 on the second day, giving him a total of 148.
The Aztecs collected their first medal of the season at the tournament played at Phoenix’s Ahwatukee Country Club.
The tournament was hosted by GateWay Community College.
The Aztecs finished the two-day tournament in fifth place overall with two players finishing in the top 10.
Freshman Joseph Courtney finished with the best score for Pima. He shot three-over par on the first day with a 74.
On the second day of the tournament, Courtney shot one-under par with a 71. With those scores he finished in fourth place individually, collecting the first medal for Pima this season.
Only the top six individuals get medals.
Courtney has been working hard on improving his game, head coach Grant Waltke said. Courtney has been steadily lowering his scores this season.
Freshman Jonathon Chong Jr. was the next best for Pima, finishing in 10th place overall.
On the first day of the tournament Chong shot five-over par with a 77 and then improved it by six strokes to also shoot one-under par with a 71.
Freshman Austin Stuessel finished off his first day six-over par with a 78 and on the second day he improved on his first day score by shooting three-over par with a 75.
Freshman Landyn Lewis shot 16-over par on the first day with an 88. On the second day he improved his score by nine strokes, shooting a 79.
According to Waltke, Pima may have an opportunity to make nationals if they are able to outscore Eastern Arizona College in the next couple of tournaments. If the Aztecs are unable to accomplish this goal, then they would have to win the regional tournament to make it.
“We can do it,” Waltke said about making it to nationals.
The Aztecs will be hitting the greens again on April 15-16 in Mesa at Longbow Golf Country Club. The tournament is hosted by Mesa Community College.
Waltke believes he has his six players set up for the next tournament. The five definite players are Courtney, Chong, Stuessel, sophomore Adam Ortiz and freshman Steven Ortiz.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College men’s golf team earned sixth place at a March 12-13 tournament hosted by Chandler-Gilbert Community College at Toka Sticks Golf Course in Phoenix.
After playing qualifying rounds to grab one of six available spots, sophomore Adam Ortiz and freshmen Steven Ortiz, Joseph Courtney, Jonathon Chong Jr., Austin Stuessel and Landyn Lewis represented Pima in the 10-team tournament.
Steven Ortiz and Courtney finished individually in the top 10.
A two-day score of 148 earned Steven Ortiz a sixth place individual finish. Courtney shot 149 for a 10th place finish.
Both Ortiz brothers were in the top 10 after the first day, with Steven Ortiz shooting three over par at 73 and Adam Ortiz shooting 74.
On the second day, Adam Ortiz used 10 strokes to complete the ninth hole. He also broke an ACCAC rule, and is suspended for the next tournament.
Head coach Grant Waltke said the tournament score shows some team improvement, but not enough.
He thinks the Aztecs must win the regional tournament to have a shot at making nationals this year. They’ve advanced to the playoffs for the past 18 years.
“Course management, that’s what we’re struggling with,” Waltke said.
The Aztecs have three tournaments remaining.
Three players — Steven Ortiz, Courtney and Stuessel — have earned spots for the next tournament on March 21 and 22 in Gilbert, Ariz. GateWay Community College will host at the Kokapelli Golf Course.
The other three spots will be filled after a qualifying round on March 20.
Waltke will have his players work on chipping and putting. “They grip it and rip it every time,” he said.
Playing with that mentality is like a basketball player taking a three-point shot instead of going for an open two-pointer, Waltke said.
March 21 & 22: @ GateWay Community College, Gilbert, Ariz., Kokapelli Golf Course, 12:30 p.m.
By MYLO ERICKSON
The Pima Community College women’s golf team played two tournaments back to back over four days, March 12-15.
Because the team has just three players, the Aztecs were unable to record a team score.
No player placed in the top 10 at either tournament, held at Foothills Golf Course in Phoenix and The Legend at Arrowhead Golf Course in Glendale.
GateWay Community College hosted the Foothills tournament March 14-15.
The Aztec women shot some of their best scores on the fourth day of tournament play.
Freshman Abriana Romero had the best score with an 89, an eight-stroke improvement over her first-day score.
Freshman Shelby Empens improved upon her first-day score by three strokes with a 98. Sophomore Alondra Olivas trimmed six strokes off her first-day total with a 105.
Paradise Valley Community College hosted the Arrowhead tournament March 12-13.
Romero shot 95 on the second day of the tournament, one stroke higher than than her first-day total. Empens shot 104 each day. Par at Arrowhead is 72.
Pima will host the next tournament at Silverbell Golf Course on March 26 and 27.
“They’re looking forward to it,” head coach Bill Nicol said.
The players welcome the chance to travel minutes instead of hours to a tournament.
“The girls have played better rounds here than any away tournament,” Nicol said of the Silverbell course.
Nicol will be the host for incoming tournament teams, and will compile individual and team scores.
“It’s harder work for me, but I’m looking forward to it, too,” Nicol said.
March 26 & 27: Pima CC, Tucson, Silverbell Golf Course, 11 a.m. and 10 a.m.
April 9 & 10: @ Mesa CC, Mesa, Dobson Ranch Golf Course, 11 a.m.