The Irvine Valley men's golf team fell in its Orange Empire Conference opening match Monday at Tijeras Creek. Host Saddleback won with a score of 394. IVC finished three strokes back at 397. The Lasers had one more score in the 70's than Saddleback (3 to 2), but still came up a little short.
Coach Ben Burnett said his team played a practice round at Tijeras last Friday and shot, on average, five shots lower than on Monday. IVC freshman Kyle Melchiorre tied for the second best score on the day at 76. Sophomore Dave Durbeniuk finished at 78 and freshman Forbest Collins came in at 79 for the Lasers. Sophomores Steve Grove and Jordan Traa each shot 82 for Irvine Valley. "The team and I remain confident that we will challenge for and possibly win the conference championship," Burnett said. "I feel that I have eight players capable of scoring in the 70's. My team goal remains to post only scores in the high 360's to middle 370's range. Saddleback also defeated Orange Coast on the day with the Pirates shooting a total of 401.