The Saddleback men's golf team had a great start to the 2017 campaign, finishing third out of 13 teams at the Tee-off Classic at Los Serranos Golf Course. All five Gauchos shot in the 70's in finishing 11 shots off the lead.
Saddleback's performance was a giant leap in the right direction after shooting over 402 a year ago in the opening round of the Tee-off Classic. The Gauchos improved 27 shots from a season ago and look like they will be in the thick of the hunt for an Orange Empire Conference title in 2017.
"It was a solid performance by the fellas," head coach Wayne Westling said. "Hopefully it builds confidence and shows them they can compete with some of the top teams in the region."
Two squads Saddleback will need to track down are Orange Coast and Riverside, who finished first and second, respectively, on Wednesday. OCC won the opening event with a team score of 364 while Riverside was two shots back at 366. The Gauchos finished third at 375 in a field that had other heavyweights such as Santa Barbara and College of the Desert.
Saddleback's leader on the links on Wednesday was Austin Briggs, who shot 1-under-par 71 on the par-72 layout. Briggs finished fourth in individual play and was followed closely by Chris Reck (6th, 72). Other solid performances were turned in by Jake Elliott (74), Jackson Blogg (79) and Kirk Edmondson (79).
Saddleback will compete again at the Pneumonia Open at Spring Valley Lakes Golf Course on Monday.