Matadors Can't Improve, Finish Fifth at Big West Championship

May 4, 2010

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - Cal State Northridge carded a final round 307, their highest of the tournament as the Matador men's golf team finished fifth at the 2010 Big West Championship. Chris Russo was Northridge's top finisher as he placed eighth at Mission Viejo C.C.

The Matadors were able to improve upon last season's sixth place finish but still have not won the Big West Championship. The best Northridge has finished in the conference championship was third in 2004 and 2008.

After carding rounds of 295 and 301 on Monday, the Matadors posted a final round 307 which was not good enough to get out of fifth place. UC Santa Barbara finished fourth, six shots in front of Northridge.

"This was just one of those tournaments," said head coach Jim Bracken. "The guys tried hard but we just made mistakes where you couldn't make mistakes. This is one we'll chalk up to experience."

UC Irvine won its third conference championships in the past four seasons as the Anteaters finished with a three-round score of 873. Pacific (890) was second, Long Beach State (895) was third followed by UC Santa Barbara (897), the Matadors (903), UC Davis (910), UC Riverside (911), Cal Poly (925) and Cal State Fullerton (929)

Chris Russo was Northridge's top finisher as the freshman from Westlake, Calif., tied for eighth at (+6) 222. Russo posted identical rounds of 70 on Monday and was just two shots off the pace but struggled to a final round 82 to slip to eighth place.

"Chris had a great tournament but he tried to force it and was a little aggressive today," said Bracken.

Senior Jeff Freund tied for 14th at (+8) 224 after a final round 76. Freund carded rounds of 75-73 on Monday. Junior Nick Delio was looking for his third straight top-20 Big West finish and was in position to do so even after a second round 79. But a final round 75 dropped Delio to 22nd at (+11) 227.

Matt Siporin finished tied for 30th at (+17) 233 after rounds of 77-81-75 while Casey Piper finished 43rd at (+29) 245 after rounds of 85-79-81.

UCI's John Chin claimed medalist honors for the second time in his career with a seven-under 209 for the tournament.

Chin was the lone player to finish below par for the tournament as he posted a score nine strokes better than the runner ups. T.J. Bordeaux of Pacific and Pace Johnson of Cal Poly were each in that second position at +2, while another tie for fourth at +3 between UC Riverside's Kevin Fitzgerald and UC Irvine's Shaun O'Meara wrapped up the top five scorers.

Team and individual berths to the NCAA Regional will be announced next week.

BIG WEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP Mission Viejo, Calif. Mission Viejo Country Club Par 72, 7,052 yards

TEAMS 1. UC Irvine, 288-288-297-873 2. Pacific, 295-296-299-890 3. Long Beach State, 295-297-303-895 4. UC Santa Barbara, 297-295-305-897 5. Cal State Northridge, 295-301-307-903 6. UC DAVIS, 303-301-306-910 7. UC Riverside, 306-307-298-911 8. Cal Poly, 294-317-314-925 9. Cal State Fullerton, 313-300-316-929

NORTHRIDGE T8. Chris Russo, 70-70-82-222 T14. Jeff Freund, 75-73-76-224 T22. Nick Delio, 73-79-75-227 T30. Matt Siporin, 77-81-75-233 43. Casey Piper, 85-79-81-245

- GO MATADORS -

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