UCSD Golf Places 13th in Stanislaus

    GOLF — The Tritons took part in the Buzzini/Cal State
    Stanislaus Invitational, the final tuneup before next week’s California
    Collegiate Athletic Association Championships on April 14 and 15 and finished
    in 13th place at the 16-team tournament. The three-round, two-day tournament
    was held at Turlock Golf and Country Club, where Sonoma
    State University

    won the event with a score of 872 (+8). UCSD finished at 916, 52 shots over
    par.

    The Tritons opened the tournament with a 301, then shot 309
    in the second round before concluding the tournament with a 306. Each team
    brought a squad of at least five golfers, with Sonoma
    State
    and Cal State University
    Stanislaus bringing six, and Barton College
    bringing seven. The best four scores from each round created each team’s
    total.

    Sonoma State’s
    Jarin Todd posted the best individual score with a 208 (-8), making him one of
    three golfers out of 83 to finish the tournament under par. The second was
    teammate Patrick Bauer, who ended up tied with Cal State Stanislaus’ Jesse
    Contreras with a cumulative score of 215, good for one under. Junior Billy
    Olsen led the Tritons, shooting an even par third round of 72 to finish at 216
    (+8), which was good for a tie for 16th individually.

    Fellow junior Nathan Phan finished second on the team with a
    227 (+11) that put him in a tie for 39th. Phan managed to improve his score
    with each successive round, beginning with a first round 78, followed by rounds
    of 75 and 74. Phan has been UCSD’s most consistent golfer this season, with a
    75.6 scoring average and a .694 winning percentage. He also has posted the
    Tritons’ best round of the season, shooting a 69 at the Sonoma State
    Invitational in October.

    “There’s no secret to my game,” Phan said. “I work hard in
    practice, and never get satisfied with the strides I make. I always feel like
    my game can improve, and with that attitude, I’ve managed to have some success
    that I hope can continue as we approach the most important part of our season.”

    Freshman Keith Okasaki finished in a tie for 56th with a
    score of 233 (+17). After starting strongly with a one over 73, the freshman
    stumbled down the stretch, finishing with rounds of 81 and 79. Right behind him
    was sophomore Austin Alfonso, who shot a cumulative 234 to end in a tie for
    60th. He also shot a first round 73, but finished with scores of 80 and 81 in
    the final two rounds, respectively.
    Junior Noah Moss shot a 242 (+26), which put him in 76th place, as he
    shot rounds of 78, 83, and 81.

    Head coach Mike Wydra has developed quite a program at UCSD
    during his 29 years, but last August he may have received the school’s highest
    honor when Golf Digest Magazine named UCSD men’s golf as the top Division-II
    program in the nation in their annual rankings of the top 400 golf schools in
    the country. The ranking takes six factors into account, including academics
    and climate, and looks at colleges in Division I, II and III. Overall, UCSD
    finished as the 21st best program in the country, the top Division-II school in
    academics and the best school of all divisions in climate. When asked about the
    rankings, Wydra deflected the compliment toward his team.

    “All the credit goes to the team and the achievements
    they’ve made, both on the course and in the classroom,” he said.

    With no seniors leaving the team that earned that honor, the
    awards may only be the beginning for the Tritons. Last year, UCSD finished
    their season by placing 6th in the NCAA Division II West Regional, missing out
    on the National Championship tournament for the third straight year. This year,
    the team hopes to make that tournament for the first time since 2003-04. The
    Tritons must finish first at the CCAA Championships and NCAA Super Regionals on
    May 5 to 7 to gain admission into the Division II Championships in Houston
    that begin on May 20.

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