Men’s golf finishes eighth at The Goodwin
Northern Colorado men’s golf ended The Goodwin on Saturday with a tournament-best round of 287, solidifying a Top 10 finish in a field that featured eight ranked teams.
It was a birdie bonanza for the Bears in the finale. The team combined 18 birdies, with 14 of them coming on the back nine.
True freshman, Coby Welch and sophomore, Josh Matz yielded solid rounds of 70 (E), but each of them had to work for it.
Welch was two-over-par heading into the last hole on the back nine after the team started on hole 10, but wrangled back-to-back birdies on holes 18 and 1 to get back to even par. Welch worked his way down to one-under-par through sixteen holes, but a bogey on 9 solidified his round of 70.
The freshman ended the 54-hole event with a 213 (69, 74, 70 = +3), tying for 11th place in standings. The finish was the best by any UNC golfer in program history at the event.
Matz’s day started off with a bogey, and much like Welch, he too was two-over-par heading down the stretch of the front nine. Matz followed suit and holed back-to-back birdies to get back to even heading into the turn. He signed off on a birdie on hole 1 and played one-under-par until a double on hole five pushed him back to one-over. Skillfully, Matz sunk his fourth birdie of the day and cashed in on pars for the remainder of the round to end with a 70.
He walked off the course with a 215 (73, 72, 70 = +=5) and landed in the Top 25, tying for 20th.
Fellow sophomore, Li Chen was just one back of Welch and Matz, coming into the clubhouse with a 71 (+1). Chen made a magnificent run during his final nine holes, marking four birdies, including three straight to end the round.
Chen jumped two spots up the leaderboard in the final day to finish tied for 69th place with a 224 (79, 74, 71 = +14)
Juniors, Sam Marley and Andrew Romano polished off the tournament for Northern Colorado. Marley fired a 76 (+6) in his final round, while Romano carded a 79 (+9).
Romano tied for 86th with a 227 (71, 77, 79 = +17), and Marley tied for 106th overall with a 230 (79, 75, 76 = +20).
Host school, No. 12 Stanford earned the team title. The Cardinals finished with a three-day total of 837 (-3), winning the event by nine strokes. BYU’s Rhett Rasmussen topped the individual field. Rasmussen was good for a 206 (-4), coming in first by just one stroke.
UNC faced a bevy of top teams in the NCAA, but held their own, tying for 8th place with No. 44 BYU with 874 (+34). The Bears also placed higher than No. 19 Colorado, Colorado State, Oregon State and UCLA.
“I am very proud of the guys. Finishing tied for eighth in this field is an accomplishment” coach Roger Prenzlow said. “This team is starting to realize how good they can be.”
Men’s golf will close out the regular season at the El Macero Classic hosted by UC Davis on April 13-14. Then the team will take on the Big Sky Championship in Nevada on April 28-30.
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