San Jacinto College golf team places sixth in the nation in Las Vegas

07.24.2014 | By Jeannie Peng-Armao

San Jacinto College students, Jason Mendoza and Jose Lucio, recently competed in Las Vegas, placing sixth in the nation at the Collegiate Golf Alliance National Tournament and taking home the top spot for the skills challenge.

The San Jacinto College team was one of two community colleges to compete among 26 teams nationally. To advance to the national level, Mendoza and Lucio had to compete last Fall in a local qualifying tournament held at San Jacinto College. Although both have only been playing golf for a short time, their recent accomplishment serves as proof of their hard work and the assistance and mentorship they received from college golf instructor, Butch Sutton, director of campus recreation at San Jacinto College Central Campus. 

"This was the largest course we had ever played," said Mendoza. "There were some challenges. We went from practicing on greens that were 15 by 15 yards to Las Vegas greens that were 60 by 60 yards. We had to adjust our hits because the grass is very different there compared to what we practiced on here in Houston."

Mendoza beat out more than 50 competitors to place first in the national skills challenge. To do so, he had to compete individually and show the longest drive and landing that was closest to the pin. Leading up to Las Vegas, both Lucio and Mendoza visited local 18 hole golf courses about five times a week. Each took classes with Sutton and learned simple and effective golfing strategies without cutting corners, according to Lucio, who started playing golf a little more than one year ago.

"We prepared as much as we could for this opportunity," said Lucio. "We would play here at San Jacinto College and at local courses in the North Shore area, just anywhere we could."

This summer marks the fourth year for San Jacinto College to send a golf team to the Collegiate Golf Alliance National Tournament in Las Vegas. Brothers Safety served as the team's company sponsor. Mary Shelley, physical education professor, said that the College would prepare to send another team to Las Vegas again next year.

"This team took the game very seriously and had a great showing," said Shelley. "We could not be more proud of them. They were a great reflection of San Jacinto College and recreational sports."

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 credit students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career and workforce preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook.