May 3, 2011
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - Birdies were scarce for the Cal State Northridge golf team on Tuesday as the Matadors carded a team score of 306 to finish third at the Big West Championship. Senior Nick Delio carded a final round 73 to finish four strokes off the lead.
The Matadors trailed three teams after two rounds on Monday including first-place UC Davis by 13 shots. Despite matching its high-round of the tournament, CSUN (306-283-306--895) was able to overtake Cal Poly (897) on Tuesday to move into sole possession of third place behind UC Davis (871) and Pacific (888). UC Irvine (902) was fifth followed by UC Santa Barbara (921), Long Beach State (931), Cal State Fullerton (933) and UC Riverside (938).
"To finish third after the front nines we had yesterday and today, I'm happy with that," said head coach Jim Bracken. "It shows that we never quit and battled on the back nine each and every round. The course played tough today, the pins were really tough."
In his final Big West Championship, Delio could not match his second round 67 as the senior from Valencia posted a one over-par 73 to finish four strokes behind Austin Graham of UC Davis. Delio, who had a pair of eagles and eight birdies through two rounds, had just three birdies on Tuesday as he finished one over-par on the front nine and even par on the back. Delio's second-place finish is the best conference finish of his career.
"Nick didn't get off to a great start today and really had to grind it out just like he did yesterday," added Bracken.
Sophomore Chris Russo, who was tied for third after two rounds, struggled to a final round (+8) 80 to slip into a tie for seventh at (+6) 222. Russo struggled on the front nine Tuesday as he posted three bogeys and then double bogeyed the par-four ninth hole. He had his lone birdie of the round on the par-five 14th on his way to a three over-par 39 on the back nine. Russo now has two top-10 finishes in his first two Big West Championship tournaments after finishing eighth as a freshman last year.
Junior Matt Siporin concluded his first conference championship in 12th-place with solid rounds of 78-71-75 which left him at (+8) 224. Siporon had one birdie, four bogeys and one double-bogey on his way to a (+5) 41 on the front nine but fired four birdies on the back nine to shoot two under-par 34 and finish three over-par for the day.
Freshman Jake Katz and junior Arthur Chung also were competing in their first Big West Championship with Katz finishing tied for 28th at (+19) 235 and Chung finishing 42nd at (+26) 242. Katz closed Tuesday's round with birdies on two of his last five holes but double-bogeyed the par-four 15th to finish the day at (+6) 78. Chung, who carded rounds of 84-78 on Monday, finished with a round of (+8) 80 on Tuesday.
Northridge's third-place finish matches the Matadors' finish in 2004 and 2008 when CSUN also placed third ... The Matadors' final team score of 895 is an eight-stroke improvement over last season's score on the same course ... Delio's second-place finish is the best finish by a Northridge golfer in a conference championship since Pete Sisich finished second in the rain-shortened Big West Championship in 2003. The last CSUN golfer to win a conference championship was Anthony Marciano who won the Big Sky individual title in 2000 ... The Matadors' second round 283 is the team low for 18-holes this season.
BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP
Mission Viejo, Calif.
Mission Viejo C.C.
May 2-3, 2011
1. UC Davis 288-288-295--871
2. Pacific 291-293-304--888
3. Northridge 306-283-306--895
4. Cal Poly 295-292-310--897
5. UC Irvine 301-299-302--902
6. UC Santa Barbara 307-304-310--921
7. Long Beach State 312-312-307--931
8. CSU Fullerton 314-301-318--933
9. UC Riverside 307-313-318--938
1. Austin Graham, UC Davis 70-70-70--210 (-6)
2. Nick Delio, Northridge 74-67-73--214 (-2)
3. Bryan Pierce, Cal Poly 69-73-74--216 (E)
4. Max Greil, UC Irvine 72-71-77--220 (+4)
4. Patrick Kucich, Pacific 73-72-75--220 (+4)
4. Tyler Raber, UC Davis 71-75-74--220 (+4)
7. Alex Edfort, Pacific 73-72-77--222 (+6)
7. Geoff Gonzalez, Cal Poly 70-72-80--222 (+6)
7. Alex Johnson, Pacific 72-74-76--222 (+6)
7. Chris Russo, Northridge 73-69-80--222 (+6)
- GO MATADORS -