GOLETA -- At breathtaking Sandpiper Country Club, the best of the best competed at the California Community College Athletic Association Men's Golf State Championship, and the Orange Coast College Pirates did more than just show up.
After winning the Orange Empire Conference title and earn a spot at state after a solid Southern California Regional performance, the Pirates finished third overall with a solid two-round team score of 760. Cypress College (736) captured the state title, 18 shots ahead of College of the Canyons (754) and 24 ahead of OCC and Reedley College (OCC won tiebreaker for third place), followed by Chabot (767), Monterey Peninsula (782), Riverside (785) and Sierra (811).
Taka Inoue, who opened the two-round event with a 6-over-par 78, came back strong in the afternoon and shot a 1-under 71 for a two-round total of 149, equaling teammate Chris Casey, who shot a 73-76 for his 149. Inoue's 71 was just one of four rounds under par in either round among the 60-golfer field.
Bryson Bentley was the most consistent Pirate at the State Championship, shooting a pair of 4-over 76s for a 152, while Myoung Kim carded a 76-69-155, Connor O'Hern came in at 75-81-156 and Mike Stephens shot an 82-80-162.
Cypress came out like gang-busters in the opening round and carried a 16-shot lead on the field with an opening team score of 362. From there, the Chargers cruised to their first state golf title in school history.
It was the second top-three finish for head coach Sean Collins and the Pirates in the state over the past six years. Coast finished runner-up in the state back in 2013 and also had top-five finishes in 2010 (fifth) and 2016 (fourth).