New look, same hopes for GCC men's golf

For most of the past month, the members of the Glendale Community College men's golf team have been making the practice rounds while putting up with the chilly temperatures.

Virtually none of the Vaqueros have locked up a top-six spot in the starting lineup. It’s a message that’s been delivered by GCC Coach Greg Osbourne.

“Every single one of these guys has the capability to break 80 and I like that,” said Osbourne, whose team will begin its season Monday in the Bakersfield College Tournament at Bakersfield Country Club. “The competition for cracking the starting lineup will be pretty tough because anybody can post a good score.

“While we do have a lot of depth, we don’t have a lot of experience. That’s where it comes down to practicing. They will be as good as their practice will get them. That’s where they need to focus the most. We know we can have a good team.”

The Vaqueros finished second in the Western State Conference last season behind College of the Canyons before finishing third in the Southern California Regionals with a lineup that included Michael Timpson, Rich Maloof and Mathias Dahl. Glendale reached the state tournament in 2011.

Glendale will feature two returners to its 12-member squad — Clayton Ojeda and Jin Park. Park, a Burbank High graduate, returns after sitting out last season.

They will be joined by sophomores Derrik Hubbard and Randall Vautravers and freshmen Win Kyaw, Tavit Garabedian, McCauley Taylor, Kyle Blatchford, Anthony Capozzi, James Platt, Justin Sandon and Nick Scott.

Osbourne, who coached the women’s golf team to a runner-up appearance in the California Community College Athletic Assn. Women's Golf Championship in the fall, said finding the right mix will be key early in the season.

“Anybody on our team can win a conference match,” said Osbourne, who is also a PGA pro and the head pro at Chevy Chase Country Club in Glendale. “Each guy brings something new to the table and they all have good aspects to their respective games.

“It comes down to preparation. You get into competition and the nerves and thinking come into play. You need a lot of good things to happen in order to win. We have a lineup that can be interchangeable. I think we have a shot to get to state, but that’s a long way from now. ... We have a lot of good talent and it’s about piecing it all together.”

The Vaqueros will participate in the two-day Tee-Off Classic, which will be held Feb. 4-5 at Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills. Glendale won the event last season.

Glendale will then compete in its first conference match Feb. 18 at Valencia Country Club. The Vaqueros will host a conference match April 15 at Oakmont Country Club. The Vaqueros won on their home site last season.

The conference championship will take place April 22 at Soule Park Golf Club in Ojai.

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