CSUN men’s golf battles conference foes at Stockton


The Sundial

The CSUN men’s golf team competes in the Bill Cullum Invitational at the Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, Calif., on Oct. 21, 2014.

Alexis Martinez, Reporter

Shooting under par was the main struggle for the Matadors as they finished tied for sixth with California State University, Fresno in the 2022 Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational. Leading CSUN was senior Paul Louis-Gachet, who struck the ball well enough to tie for 11th place and give CSUN a sixth-place finish for the second year in a row.

“We played the first round and didn’t finish well, and lost the four shots the last couple of holes and shot on par,” said CSUN head coach Jim Bracken. “This is a golf course in which we need to shoot under par, but we did come back to get a sixth-place finish. And that’s all I can ask, for them to give me 100%.”

The Matadors played at the Stockton Golf & Country Club in Stockton, California, surrounded by brilliant green grass and tall lofty trees overlooking the 18 holes. The University of the Pacific hosted the CSUN men’s golf team and 14 others, including five other Big West Conference teams in the tournament, which lasted from Oct. 20-22. First place went to Grand Canyon University.

The Matadors began their tournament slowly, collectively finishing on par through the first set of holes. CSUN improved in the next round as they shot 6-under to achieve their best outing. The next day proved to be similar to round two, when they secured a 5-under in the final round, giving the team an 11-under total showing.

The scores for each Matador on the men’s golf team in the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational on Oct. 22, 2022, in Stockton, Calif. (Edward Segal)

Senior Thomas Burou finished in 11th place, and represented CSUN in the individual competition. Burou experienced a change of direction in form, averaging 73.25 this season but stroking for a 69.3 at Stockton. He shot 5-under and collected 14 birdies, the most on the team.

Round one was not favorable for the other Matadors, as it was the only round in which they shot on par, besides Louis-Gachet, who came out with a solid 2-under start the first day.

Louis-Gachet guided the team to an important turnaround as he shot for 5-under in the tournament. He and senior Felix Schrott racked up 12 birdies. Jakub Hrinda from George Washington University clubbed the ball for 18 birdies, the most of any individual in the tournament.

Attempting to carry his inspiring form from the Bill Cullum Invitational, in which he earned first place, Schrott whacked the ball for a 4-under. In the second round, he shot for a team-best 5-under. His efforts were enough for him to tie Alex Barclay from the University of the Pacific for 16th place.

Louis-Gachet, Burou and Schrott all shot for just one eagle each in the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational.

Aiming to turn around a slight slump from the last tournament, senior Eirik Thomassen shot on par, while pocketing 10 birdies. The third round was favorable for Thomassen, as it was where he collected five of his birdies and slugged the ball for 3-under.

A drop in form from senior Brandon McDonough saw him garner the least amount of birdies on the team with nine, while shunting the ball for 2-over, enough to tie with five other players for 43rd place.

Tumbling out of sorts was sophomore Nick Fowlkes, who came out swinging in the first round for seven birdies, the most in any round for the Matadors. That opening round was not indicative of the next two, in which he earned a collective 10-over. A cold end after a hot start was adequate for him to earn 72nd place and tie with seven other players.

Senior Ian MacKay did not play in the tournament; as the hosts, the Tigers had an injured player and could not meet the requirements for the team. Therefore, the tournament only allowed five members per team.

“We just have to stay positive, and a couple of 4-putts we need to avoid. And what I always tell my team — the only person who lives in the past is me, cause I’m old,” Bracken said. “Sometimes the game is just hard. Golf is a mental game. You can be upset for a second, but you gotta move on.”