Men’s Golf: Matadors late-surge not enough to move up from 14th place

Kyle Hufnagel

The Men’s golf team slumped to a fourteenth place finish on Tuesday’s final round of the Saint Mary’s Invitational in Seaside, California. The Matadors closed the three-round, two-day Invitational 49-over par, posting rounds of 311-299-303, while hosts Saint Mary’s fell agonizingly short by a single stroke to finish runners up to San Diego.

Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf Courses proved to be an order too tall this early in the season as the Matadors failed to improve on their tenth place finish at the season-opening Southwestern Intercollegiate in Westlake village a week earlier.

Senior Dodge Ward started his final round with a birdie, breathing new life into the group as the rest of the squad began on par.
The middle of the front 9 saw the team edge closer to the leaders after two birdies by Ward and Junior Tim Snyder followed by a stout Hole 7 which left just a single bogie on the scorecard as the remainder of the team shared pars.

It was Hole 9 that rattled spirits, the team only marking a single par as they made the turn. However, the group began to loosen up as they tee’d off on the back nine, posting three birdies accompanied by three pars before Ward and sophomore Sam Engel responded with additional birdies on the next hole.

The group began to slump after as three double bogies stained a strong start to the back, but the group was determined to recover as Ward, Freshman Joey Varnam and Senior Michael O’Conner strung together back-to-back-to-back pars to right the ship.
In the end it was a strong finish by the team, recording four birdies on the 18th leaving questions of what could have been had the group found their groove earlier.

The Matadors will have time to recover before their next endeavor, Monday and Tuesday at the Nick Watney Invitation at Fresno’s Sunnyside Country Club, before the home tournament, late October’s Bill Cullum Invitational.