The Saddleback men's golf team traveled to El Camino Country Club on Monday for the Southern California Preview, which featured all 19 programs in the southern half of the state. The Gauchos stunned the field, winning the team competition by one shot while taking home individual honors.
Saddleback was coming off three mediocre performances over the past month, so when they laced up the spikes on Monday they were looking for improvement and a reason to be optimistic, moving forward. The Gauchos achieved all of the above on the 6,840-yard layout, winning the tournament and asserting themselves as a threat as they move to the second half of the season.
Austin Briggs fired a 1-under-par round of 71 to capture individual honors. The sophomore from San Clemente High School transferred in from Orange Coast College after his freshman season, where he was an all-conference player in 2016. Right on his heels was fellow Gaucho Chris Reck, who shot even par (72) to finish second. All of the top five players or Saddleback shot 80-or-better with Jake Elliott shooting 76, Kirk Edmondson 78 and Jackson Blogg 80.
The Orange Empire Conference was well represented with four of the top five teams in the field. Orange Coast (378) finished one shot back of Saddleback while Riverside (380) was third and Cypress (385) was fifth.
"It was a big win for our program," head coach Wayne Westling said. "Hopefully they can keep the momentum going."
Saddleback's win on Monday was the first since opening the 2016 season with a win in round one of the Tee-Off Classic last February. The Gauchos will take to the links again next Monday when they travel to the Victoria Club in an OEC match hosted by Riverside.