Fullerton golfer Chelsey Gutierrez stood out Monday placing first overall in a round at Coyote Hills Golf Course after shooting a 78 (40-38). Fullerton placed sixth as a team and shot a 429 at the course.

Gutierrez shot a 78 and finished first in strokes on Monday.

Fullerton’s team captain Chelsey Gutierrez shot a 78 and finished first in strokes on Monday at Coyote Hills. Photo credit: Blare Parke

As for the rest of the Hornets, Sydney Gimpl completed the round with a 106, Alyssa Vasquez shot a 107, and Natalie Barker completed with a 138.

Saddleback College took first place among the other Orange Empire Conference teams, shooting a 339. College of the Desert placed second and Orange Coast College finished third.

Gutierrez, shooting just 8-over par, performed well at the Fullerton golf course. After a couple of struggles on the front nine, she was able to settle in and play her game in the back nine.

The weather impacted the way the grass felt, forcing the golfers to adjust.

The weather impacted the way the grass felt, forcing the golfers to adjust. Freshman standout Chelsey Gutierrez sinks her putt on hole 9 at Coyote Hills Monday. Photo credit: Blare Parke

“I was really excited to play this course because I haven’t played it in a really long time,” Gutierrez said, “It was a little more challenging today because of the weather.”

Throughout the day, the strong wind and cold weather impacted the way the teams played. Gutierrez explained that the way she drove the ball was negatively affected, but not to the same extent as their windy round at the Singing Hills Golf Course last week. However, the wind was not the only weather factor of the game, so was the dew.

“You come out in the morning with damp, moist conditions, the air is heavy, the greens are slow. And then the wind picks up, the greens start to bake out. And because it’s pretty dry wind, they dry out pretty quickly, the greens speed up. Plus, shots get pushed left and right with the wind,” Fullerton Head Coach Naveen Kanal said.

Fullerton's Sydney Gimpl enjoyed the difficult course.

Fullerton’s Sydney Gimpl with a nice drive down the fairway on hole 10 at Coyote Hills GC Monday. Photo credit: Blare Parke

The Hornets hosted Monday’s event, the first they’ve hosted since playing at Royal Vista Golf Club in 2019. Despite the difficulties, the Hornets enjoyed the way the course felt and the way they played.

“It was great. This is a really nice golf course and it’s a bit more challenging, but I feel like it’s easier when it’s nice,” Hornets golfer Sydney Gimpl said.

Coyote Hills is a course known to be difficult for players as it poses many challenges. Some of which include large lakes, bunkers, trees, and the entire front nine is built on a mountain so, the fairways all slope off to the sides, making hitting the fairways more challenging.

Hornets' freshman Alyssa Vasquez attempting to putt during the strong winds.

Hornets’ freshman Alyssa Vasquez lined up her putt during the strong winds Monday at Coyote Hills. Photo credit: Blare Parke

“It’s really hard in general,” Fullerton freshman golfer Alyssa Vasquez said, “And we haven’t really had many practice rounds here, so it was still kind of unpredictable.”

Coach Kanal also explained how the team will be practicing on their chipping and putting at their future practices. Fullerton had several opportunities but struggled to get their chip shots and putts to fall in the hole.

The Orange Empire Conference will be entering the Finals in early November.

Hornets Chelsey Gutierrez celebrates with opponents after their round. Chelsey would place first individually while the Hornets placed sixth as a team. The Orange Empire Conference will be entering the Finals in early November. Photo credit: Blare Parke

Although they had a slow start to the beginning of their season, Fullerton has been steadily improving their strokes and placing higher on the leaderboards in the past events against other schools in the OEC.

If the Hornets continue, they will have the opportunity to improve in the conference standings before entering the OEC Finals in a few weeks.

The Hornets next event will be held at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club, hosted by Saddleback College, Wednesday Oct. 27 at 10:40 a.m.

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Jared Chavez (He/Him) is a journalism major from La Mirada, California. In his free time, he likes to listen to music and go to events.