Story and photos by Jesse Muñoz/COC Sports Information Director
Three members of the College of the Canyons men's golf program are moving on to four-year schools after two spectacular seasons with the Cougars.
Sophomore Nobuhiko Wakaari will tee off for the San Jose State Spartans program next season after leaving Canyons as one of the men's golf program's most successful student-athletes. SJSU is an NCAA Division I program.
As a freshman, Wakaari helped lead the Cougars to the 2019 CCCAA State Championship while also becoming just the third individual state champion in men's golf program history. The 2019 season marked the first time in school history that the program had won both team and individual state titles in the same season. The Cougars also brought home a 10th straight Western State Conference (WSC) crown and the 2019 CCCAA SoCal Regional title.
Wakaari, who is from Niigata, Japan, finished two-under par at the state championship tourney to cap a season in which he was named the Western State Conference (WSC) Player of the Year before finishing fourth overall at the CCCAA Southern California regional tourney.
He finished the 2019 regular season ranked first in total strokes (802) and round average (72.91) in the WSC. He also led in adjusted strokes (640) and adjusted average (71.11) which are determined after dropping a player's two high scores. He bested the next closest competitor by 30 strokes to also establish a new conference record. Wakaari medaled in six of 11 conference rounds in addition to the Southern California Regional Preview event. He also finished as the field's runner-up on two occasions.
Sophomore Jules Lavigne is heading to Sonoma State University after also playing a key role in the Cougars' 2019 state title run. The Seawolves are an NCAA Division II program located in Rohnert Park, CA.
Lavigne arrived at COC by way of Vanves, France and immediately made an impact on the Cougars' program.
In addition to helping Canyons win state, SoCal Region and WSC titles, Lavigne was a member of both the 2019 All-State and All-WSC squads. He finished that year's state championship event No. 3 overall with a two-day, two-over-par score of 146 to finish four shots back of Wakaari.
Chayan Duha will next play for Texas Wesleyan University, an NAIA program located in Fort Worth, Texas.
A two-year member of the Cougars' program, Duha, who hails from Paris, France, was beginning to emerge as a regular scorer for Canyons in 2020 before having the reminder of the season cancelled.
Duha competed in five events for COC this season including the season opener at Valencia Country Club where he carded a four-over-par round of 76 to place fifth overall.
He apparently saved his best for last, however, with a round of 69 to take second at the WSC event hosted by Allan Hancock College at Santa Maria Country Club. That tournament would prove to be the final conference event of the season.
Two days later, Duha helped Canyons win the eight-team 'Clash at the Coast' event at the Torrey Pines North Course, which was carried out as a two-man, best ball event.
COC, already the defending state champions, looked primed to bring home another state title before having the remainder of 2020 season cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Canyons won every event it played in 2020 with an impressive 57-0 overall record and a 35-0 mark vs. WSC opponents. Those performances helped the Cougars extend the program's win streak to 10 events dating back to April 22, 2019. COC had five different players earn tournament medalist honors during the season.
Stay up to date on all this season's action by following the College of the Canyons Athletic department on social media at @COCathletics on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.