The Ventura College men's golf team may have let the chance to push for a conference title slip in recent weeks.
But there is plenty to play for today when the Pirates compete in the 36-hole Western State Conference championships at Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo.
"Hopefully, we can go ahead and maybe not win the conference," said Ventura coach Bob E. Smith, "but win the state."
Ventura (35-13), which finished third in the state meet a year ago, has slipped 11 games behind runaway leader Canyons (46-2) in recent weeks, but the Pirates can advance to Southern California regionals as a team by protecting its six game lead over third-place Santa Barbara City (29-19) today.
"I'm somewhat concerned," said Smith, "but we look like we're pretty confident for that second spot.
"It all depends on how we play in the morning."
Sophomore Paul Misko enters the final 32 holes from the WSC individual championship.
The Royal High product is the conference's scoring leader, averaging 72.9 per round.
"The only thing I have to do (today) is go out and play my game," said Misko. "I won't put scores in my head, because then you're not thinking about your game.
"I can tell you, I've been practicing a lot."
The local course isn't expected to be a big advantage for the Pirates, who practice at Saticoy C.C. and Olivas Links.
"It's nice that they get to sleep in their own bed," Smith, "but it's not so much of an advantage for us because we don't practice at Spanish Hills."
Canyons is actually hosting the event. Every team was allotted one practice round.
SoCal regionals are May 10 at SCGA golf course in Murrieta and the state championships are May at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beaumont.