Buffs Tie For Ninth At Pac-12 Championship
SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The University of Colorado men's golf team recorded its best single round score of the four here this week, as the Buffaloes moved up to spots Wednesday to finish in a tie for ninth as the 61st Annual Pac-12 Championships came to a close.
The 71st-ranked Buffs shot an 8-under 352 team score – tying the school best in relation to par for a 6-score-5 conference tournament (all Pac-12 meets) and the third overall. It gave CU a 72-hole total score of 1,451 (11-over par) and enabled the Buffaloes to jump over Washington State and catch No. 50 Utah in the standings.
No. 17 Arizona won its first conference meet since 2004, when the conference was known as the Pacific 10. The Wildcats, with a 41-under par team score of 1,399, held on to their four-stroke lead heading into the day, as No. 8 Arizona State couldn't make up any ground and remained four back at 1,403. Both schools had to hold off defending champion and No. 32 Stanford, which might have put up the best single round of the year in college golf. The Cardinal had a 24-under par 336 Wednesday, finishing 35-under par with a 1,405 team score.
No. 42 Washington finished fourth (1,419, minus-21) and Oregon rounded out the top five (1,422, minus-18).
Senior Daniel O'Loughlin tied for 13th with a 6-under par 282 score, the 19th time in 42 events he finished an event with a subpar score. He recorded his fourth subpar round of the week with a 1-under 71 on the 6,785-yard, par-72 Mayacama Golf Club course layout. He was consistent as usual, with three eagles, 11 birdies and 47 pars overall, with just 11 bogeys; his par count tied for second in the 72-man field while his trio of eagles tied for the third-most. He also played the par-3 holes (20 in all) at 2-under, tied for fourth.
Senior Victor Bjorlow would have tied the course record had it not been broken an hour before by Stanford's Henry Shimp. Bjorlow finished here with his career-best score of 7-under par 65, as he had eight birdies and nine pars with a single bogey (the latter of which he opened his round). In birdying six of his last 10 holes, he got back to even-par overall for the meet with a 288 total, tying him for 32nd. He was 8-under par on the front nine overall, and his 17 birdies were a team-high here. He played the par-3 holes at 3-under, tied for second-best in the field.
Bjorlow's previous career best was a 3-under 67 in Stanford's "The Goodwin" last month. In establishing a new collegiate best, he made some team history as well. The 7-under 65 tied for the best single round in CU postseason history (gross and in relation to par), matching Hale Irwin's score in the third round of the 1967 NCAA Championship (which he went on to win), and John Lindberg in the third round of the 1989 NCAA Central Regional (he finished second).
It also is the best-ever by a Buffalo in a conference meet, topping a 4-under 66 shot by Matt Call in the third round of the 1999 Big 12 Championship.
Both O'Loughlin and Bjorlow cracked CU's top 10 performances in a 72-hole conference meet. O'Loughlin's 282 tied the fifth-best gross total, while Bjorlow matched two others in ninth who recorded 288's. However, in relation to par, the 6-under by O'Loughlin ranks third, while Bjorlow's even-par effort is sixth.
Sophomore Adam Matteson closed strong with a 2-under 70, as his 5-over 293 total tied him for 46th place. He had four birdies and 12 pars Wednesday, and finished with nine birdies and 50 pars for the event, the latter of which were the most in the field.
Junior John Paterson recorded a 1-under 71 that enabled him to tie for 49th with a 6-over 294 total. He had five birdies and nine pars, giving him 14 and 40, respectively, for the tournament. Two over par through 11 holes Wednesday, he closed his round with three birdies in his last seven holes.
Sophomore Kristoffer Max tied for 63rd after wrapping with a 6-over 78, which put him at 14-over 302 for the week. He started his day with five pars but didn't get his first red number until his 12th hole of the day (No. 3). Back at just 1-over at that point, he went bogey-double-bogey to stray way from par. He had nine birdies and 46 pars in the tourney, the latter tying for the fifth-most overall.
Junior Cole Krantz finished with a 4-over 76 that tied him for 67th with an overall score of 19-over 307. After scoring a first round even-par 72, he wasn't able to match that effort but did close here with his second best score, buoyed by three birdies and nine pars. For the fourth time in as many rounds, he once again finished with a birdie, twice on No. 18 and twice on No. 9. He had 11 pars and 36 pars for the week.
"A much better result today," CU head coach Roy Edwards said, after predicting Tuesday night that he believed his team would come out and perform its best on Wednesday. "Victor played a sensational round. We are on the bubble for the NCAA's, so if that winds up being his last round, it was a great way to go out. Adam, John and Daniel were also solid. All the guys fought hard this week and that is good sign going forward."
Arizona's Brad Reeves claimed medalist honors, as he defeated Stanford's Shimp after winning a two-hole playoff. Both finished 72 holes with 16-under 272 scores, as Reeves was a tri-leader heading into the day and shot a 68 with Shimp catching him after firing a course record 8-under 64.
The Buffaloes now await their postseason fate, as they are likely on the bubble for the NCAA Championships, which start with six regionals on May 17. The NCAA will announce the selections next Wednesday, May 5, at Noon MDT.
NOTES: O'Loughlin had all four of his scores here of the under par variety, giving him 65 rounds of par or better, breaking a tie with Philip Juel-Berg ('16) for the third-most in CU history; he lowered his career average to 71.63 (120 rounds), just ahead of the established career mark of 71.72, set by Jeremy Paul (138 rounds; 2031-17). His 282 (6-under) also tied the fifth-best performance by a Buff in any 72-hole tournament … Bjorlow lowered his final round average in the process to 71.14, the best on the team … In all, 31 players finished under par this week and another six matched it … The Buffaloes finished eighth in both par-3 (23-over) and par-4 (33-over) scoring while tying for 11th in par-5 scoring (minus-18) … There were five par-3s and five par-5s in Mayacama's unique 18-hole layout, with just eight par-4s … CU led the field in pars (206), is tied for ninth in eagles (4) and jumped into 11th in birdies (71, with 24 in the final round) … The average score for the tournament (287 total rounds) was 72.59; the final round wound up playing the easiest, with a 71.64 average, compared to the first three rounds: 72.69 (third), 73.31 (second) and 72.72 (first).
TOP SIX INDIVIDUALS
|T1.||**Brad Reeves, Arizona||66-71-67-68—272|
|T1.||Henry Shimp, Stanford||71-69-68-64—272|
|3.||Yuki Moriyama, Oregon||65-69-70-69—273|
|T4.||Chun An Yu, Arizona State||69-69-69-69—276|
|T4.||Rhyggs Johnston, Arizona State||67-66-71-72—276|
|6.||Jan Schneider, Washington||70-70-68-70—278|
**--won playoff on second hole.