It appears the members of the Glendale Community College men's golf team have turned the corner and have now begun to perform precisely how Coach Greg Osbourne expected them to compete before the season began.
In a Western State Conference match at Saticoy Country Club in Ventura County on Monday afternoon, the Vaqueros jumped into second place in conference after all five of their players shot in the 70s.
"That's the good thing, that everybody shot in the 70s on a very hard course that's got very small greens," said Osbourne, whose team shot a 382 to place second behind College of the Canyons (379). "More importantly, we are now in second [in conference].
"We either want to take first or second in conference. We, at the very least, now control our own destiny being in second place."
The Vaqueros, who qualified for the state tournament for the first time in the program's history last season, entered Monday's match tied for third with Ventura. Santa Barbara City College, which tied for fourth with Citrus with a 398, but lost in a card-off by virtue of having its sixth contestant shoot higher, came into the event in second place in conference. Santa Barbara dropped to fourth place.
Ventura finished third Monday with a 391, allowing the Vaqueros to occupy sole possession of second behind Canyons with three regular-season conference matches and a 36-hole conference final still remaining.
The top two teams from the conference advance to the Southern California Regionals.
"We put ourselves in a big hole and now we've dug ourselves out of it," Osbourne said. "I don't care who is in front of us or behind us because we are finally in a good position."
Glendale received three-over-par 75s from Mathias Dahl and Clayton Ojeda, 77s from Richie Maloof and Michael Timpson and a 78 from Nick Quintanilla on Monday.
Austin Kaiser of Allan Hancock fired a 73 to earn medalist honors.
Ojeda, a freshman, said the Vaqueros have begun to hit their stride entering the final month of the season.
"We are definitely doing much better," Ojeda said. "There's even more commitment and we are practicing harder.
"It was a tough course for me, but I didn't go out there and change my swing. I just tried to get the ball in the fairways."
Glendale will compete in another conference match at 11 a.m. April 11 at San Dimas Golf Club. The Vaqueros will then host a conference match April 16 at Oakmont Country Club.