Men’s golf feels the heat in tropical Hawaii

CSUN+mens+golf+player+Eirik+Thomassen+during+the+first+round+of+the+25th+Bill+Cullum+Invitational+on+Oct.+12%2C+2021%2C+in+Stevenson+Ranch%2C+Calif.

Braden Villanueva

CSUN men’s golf player Eirik Thomassen during the first round of the 25th Bill Cullum Invitational on Oct. 12, 2021, in Stevenson Ranch, Calif.

Alexis Martinez, Reporter

The CSUN men’s golf team had trouble striking the ball on par as they finished tied for 13th with the University of Connecticut at the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational. The Matadors finished fourth at the tournament last year. Senior Felix Schrott led CSUN with the lowest score of any Matador, swinging well enough to tie with four other players for 27th place.

CSUN played the 54 holes from Oct. 28-30 at the Ka’anapali Golf Club’s Royal Ka‘anapali Course in Lahaina, Hawaii, surrounded by scattered skinny palm trees and a vast ocean view. The University of Hawaii hosted the Matadors men’s golf team and 18 others, with Hawaii and UC Irvine being CSUN’s two Big West Conference rivals at this tournament. First place went to the Sooners of the University of Oklahoma.

The Matadors opened the tournament slow with a 289 on Friday. Looking to improve on this, they shot worse the next day, mustering a 290 effort. They finally turned things around and lowered their score on the final day, stroking for a season-low of 276 to scrape by in 13th place with a 3-over showing.

The first two days did not go as planned for the men’s golf team, as they struggled to get on par. Schrott was the exception, leading the team with 1-under’s on both Friday and Saturday.

The scores for each Matador in the Ka’anapali Classic Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 28-30, 2022, in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Edward Segal)

Schrott has now finished first for the team two times this season, the first being in the Bill Cullum Invitational. He struck the ball well enough for a 4-under to repeat as leader of the Matadors in Hawaii. He racked up 11 birdies, the second most on the team behind senior Thomas Burou, who had a team-best 13 birdies.

For Burou, those 13 birdies were the highlights of his poor outings Friday and Saturday in which he produced an 8-over and 4-over, respectively. Those two days were a wash for him, just like for many other Matadors, but on the final day, he improved to earn a 1-under by shooting tighter shots for six birdies. Burou’s efforts were just enough for him to tie with three other players for 107th place.

Senior Eirik Thomassen attempted to return to his form from the first few tournaments of the semester, but teed off the opening round with a 2-over 73. Thomassen did not improve the next day, shooting 4-over. On the final day Thomassen shot for a team-best 6-under while collecting six birdies, which placed him on par and put him tied with five other players for 53rd place in the tournament.

Seeking to carry his form over from the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational, senior Paul-Louis Gachet came out swinging in the opening round, whacking the ball for two eagles within the first six holes. He then slowed down for the rest of the course and settled for a 3-over. The next two days were nearly the same as he shot for eight birdies, though he then faltered to finish 1-over on both Saturday and Sunday.

This placed Gachet tied with five other players, including two from Hawaii and his teammate Nick Fowlkes, for 83rd place.

Gachet and Thomassen both struck the ball for two eagles while Schrott only scored one.

Consistency was the name of the game for Fowlkes, who went 1-over in the opening round Friday and scored two birdies. The next two days were not much of an improvement as Fowlkes picked up 2-overs in both, while also racking up five birdies.

Seniors Brandon McDonough and Ian Mackay represented CSUN in the individual competition, shunting the ball for an 8-over and 9-over, respectively. This placed McDonough tied for 96th and MacKay tied for 100th.

This concluded the fall portion of the season for CSUN men’s golf. The Matadors will have more than two months to train before they return to play at The Joust at Goose Creek, in Riverside on Feb. 20.