Cougs Card Third-Lowest Single-Round Score in Program History on Day One in Stockton
STOCKTON, Calif. – The Washington State men's golf team had a first round to remember at the Visit Stockton Invitational Thursday, Oct. 21, as the Cougars recorded the third-lowest single-round team score in program history by carding 16-under, 268 in the opening round to end the day in first place on the team leaderboard. WSU had three golfers set personal-best single-round scores in Thursday's first round, led by junior Pono Yanagi, who ended the day in a tie for first place after carding a career-best 6-under par, 65.
Washington State's first round score of 268 (-16) marks the program's lowest score in a single round in a non-WSU hosted tournament. A total of four Cougar golfers finished the first round of the Visit Stockton Invitational under-par, led by Yanagi, whose score of 65 (-6) is tied for the sixth-lowest round by a WSU golfer in program history. The junior is the first WSU golfer to shoot 6-under par since 2018, when Zach Anderson carded 6-under, 65 in the third round of the 2018 Pac-12 Championship. The last time WSU had four golfers finish a round under-par came back during 2017-18 season at the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate in Pullman. Derek Bayley (-5), Grant Cole (-5), AJ Armstrong (-2) and Brian Mogg (-1) finished the second round carding 271 (-13). It is also the first time since the 2001 Wolf Pack Classic in Reno, Nevada that WSU has had four golfers finish under par in a single round at a non-WSU tournament.
Yanagi was consistent throughout Thursday's first round, as he shot 3-under par in both the front nine and back nine to help him end his day in a tie for first place with St. Mary's Kristian Bressum. The junior is tied for the team-lead in par-5 scoring with sophomore Preston Bebich, as each WSU golfer shot 3-under in the first round on the par 5 holes. The duo helped Washington State tie for the tournament lead in par 5 scoring after 18 holes of play, as the Cougars are currently shooting 11-under.
Washington State heads into the second round of the Visit Stockton Invitational in first place on the team leaderboard after carding 16-under, 268 in the opening round. The Cougars collected a tournament-best 27 birdies in the first round, as WSU holds a two-stroke lead over BYU going into Friday's second round.
Yanagi was one of three WSU golfers to sit inside the top-five on the player leaderboard at the conclusion of the first round of the Visit Stockton Invitational. Sophomore Preston Bebich enters Friday's second round in a tie for third after carding a personal-best at 5-under, 66, while redshirt senior Max Sekulic is tied for fifth after carding a WSU career-best 4-under, 67.
Bebich collected a tournament-best eight birdies, while tying for the team lead in par 5 scoring at 3-under par. The sophomore is the 25th WSU golfer in program history to post a single-round score of 66, while he is the first Coug to accomplish the feat since Daniel Kolar at the 2019 John Burns Intercollegiate. Meanwhile, Sekulic posted the second-best par 4 score in the tournament, as he finished the first round carding 3-under on the par 4 holes.
Sophomore Jaden Cantafio also finished under-par in the first round of the Visit Stockton Invitational, as he shot 1-under par, 70 to end his day in a tie for 25th. Freshman Franklin Lydra rounded out the first round for Washington State by carding four-over par, 74 through 18 holes of play.
Washington State opens the second round of the 2021 Visit Stockton Invitational this Friday, Oct. 22, at 9:15 a.m. PT. Fans can follow all the action at GolfStat.com
For more information on the Washington State men's golf team, follow @WSUCougarMGolf on Instagram and Twitter.