The Long Beach State men’s golf team went from a 14th place finish last week to a tie for first after the final round at the Sacramento State Invitational Tuesday. Junior Joe Fryer won his second career event after a 5-under par 67 to climb to the top of the leaderboard from fourth place.
“It was a good bounce back for the guys after last week,” head coach Michael Wilson said. “[They] were competitive and hungry.”
Long Beach tied for the top score with Grand Canyon University, but due to a scorecard playoff, did not take the title. The 49ers five-man team score in the final round was 370 compared to the Antelopes’ 361, which made them repeat champions of the event held at Valley Hi Country Club in Elk Grove.
Long Beach held the overnight lead after a 5-over par 293 in round one and a 2-under par 286 gave them a 3-stroke advantage on the field. GCU made a 4-under par charge Tuesday en route to its third win this year. Despite the end result, Long Beach played some of its best golf this season.
“Experience is precious,” Wilson said. “You won’t ever learn what it’s like until you do it, so us sleeping on that and walking into the first tee today with [the lead] was a big thing.”
Fryer made six birdies in his final round, including a chip-in from 10-feet on the par-4 17th hole to get him to 5-under on the day and secure his win.
“It’s been a rough last couple of tournaments with some of my worst finishes in college,” Fryer said. “To bounce back this week and play some good golf feels really good.”
Senior Nick Cantlay went into the final round with the individual lead at 3-under par after the first 36 holes on Monday. He went on to shoot 5-over par 77 to finish tied for 8th.
The effort comes at an opportune time for Long Beach who has four tournaments left on the schedule before the Big West Championship at the end of April.
“It was good for us to be back in contention at this time of year,” Fryer said. “We have a really good team and when we all play well I’m confident we can win any tournament.”
The 49ers will look for payback March 16 and 17 in Phoenix for the GCU Invitational.