Ojai Tennis Tournament crowns champions

Libbey Park became the site of an Ojai Tennis Tournament classic on Saturday, April 28, when men’s rivals UCLA and USC went toe to toe in a match pitting the first seed against the third.

UCLA defeated USC 4-1, winning the Pac-12 men’s team title at the 118th iteration of the Ojai Tennis Tournament, the fourth conference crown for the team in seven years. This match was the fifth time that the Los Angeles schools had met in the championship match, with the 2017 tournament going to USC.

With the win, UCLA received an automatic entry to the NCAA’s Men’s Championship, its 42nd such trip to the postseason tournament. 

The team consists of Martin Redlicki, Maxime Cressy, Connor Hance, Evan Zhu and Bryce Pereira.

In the Women’s tournament, UCLA fell short of a victory, falling to top-seeded Stanford during an exciting comeback match that saw Stanford rebound from a doubles deficit, beating UCLA 4-2. The victory gives the team an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.

The team consists of Melissa Lord, Caroline Lampl, Emily Arbuthnott and Emma Higuchi, who all won in singles competition; and Terri Fleming and Jada Hart and Alaina Miller and Ena Shibahara won in doubles.

Sunday saw singles competition. Top-seeded Hannah Chang defeated Denise Starr 6-4, 6-1, to become the Women’s Open Singles champion. Sebastian Fanselow, No. 1 seed, defeated second seed Philip Bester 4-6, 6-0, 6-5 to win the Men’s Singles Open title.

For the first time in the 118-year tournament’s history, winners received equal payout.

FootGolf U.S. Open wraps up in Oxnard

If you’ve ever wanted to kick a golf ball into the rough after slicing one into a water hazard, without penalty, then the wild world of FootGolf may just be for you.

The American FootGolf League held its U.S. FootGolf Open from Friday, April 27, through Sunday, April 29, at the River Ridge Golf Club’s Victoria Lakes Golf Course in Oxnard, the first major tournament of the International FootGolf World Tour consisting of over 200 tournaments played on five continents in 35 countries. In 2013, River Ridge became the first golf course to host a FootGolf tournament in California.

The tournament consisted of four categories featuring men aged 18-45, seniors 46 years of age and older, women 18 years of age and older, and teams, all competing for a $12,500 prize.

FootGolf operates in a similar way to its cousin, golf, in that a player must put a ball in a hole with as few “strokes” as possible. Whereas in Golf players use clubs, in FootGolf, players use their own feet. The hole is enlarged to 21 inches to accommodate the ball, a soccer ball, and players play to the side of the actual golf green so as not to damage the turf.

British competitor Ben Clarke took first place in the men’s category, followed by Argentinian Nicolas Garcia and American Julian Nash in third. American Jessica Hewins took first in the women’s category, and the all-American team of Julian Nash, Cesar Chavez, Jordan Godfrey and Nathan Shuey took home the “gold” in the team tournament.

For more information on FootGolf, visit www.footgolf.us.