The Long Beach State men’s golf team concluded its first tournament of 2017 in third place at the Itani Quality Homes Collegiate at Palouse Ridge Golf Course in Pullman, Washington. A 21-under 831 combined three round score is the 49ers’ best performance since they won in October of 2016.
“I saw a lot of great effort from our guys out there this week,” head coach Michael Wilson said. “They all played clean rounds and I think if we had a hotter start to the third round and scored a little better on the [easier] holes, we would have been in a good spot to win.”
Palouse Ridge is the home course for the Washington State Cougars, with a total distance of 7,308 yards. The 68-player field averaged about one stroke (72.19) over the par score of 71.
LBSU finished 12 strokes behind the winners and tournament host WSU (-33) and 11 strokes behind second place Boise State (-32). Both the winner and runner up made strong charges up the leaderboard in the final two rounds to distance themselves from the rest of the field.
Junior Joe Fryer was the lone golfer in the field of 68 that carded all three scores in the 60’s (68,69,67) and was tied for third place at 9-under 204. He also had the best average scoring on par-3 holes in the tournament at 2.80 strokes.
“I thought I played really well and was tactical from tee to green,” Fryer said. “My driver was on in all three rounds and that gave me good looks into the greens of the easy holes.”
Another top finisher for the 49ers was junior Patrick Pockels who was tied for eighth at 6-under 207. His second round 66 shot him into the top-10 and helped him to a career-best finish.
“I didn’t have too many expectations going into the tournament other than getting a team win,” Pockels said. “The performance has really helped our confidence going into the rest of the season.”
Junior Andres Gonzalez was tied for 11th thanks to a 3-under 68 in the final round and senior Nick Cantlay was tied for 19th, rounding out the 49ers’ top performers. Junior Niels Andersen was 6-over par after three rounds and tied for 40th.
“It was awesome to see our guys in the top-15 — and anytime you have three finish like that in a tournament you’re going to be in contention,” Wilson said. “I’m looking forward to how these guys respond in the next event.”
LBSU is back in competition on Sept. 16 in day one of the Rams Masters Collegiate in Fort Collins, Colorado.