by Jordan Mendoza
With one round left to play in the Big West championships, the Cal State Fullerton men’s golf team started the final round of the tournament six strokes back of leading UC Irvine. However, the Titans stormed back, shooting 4-under-par 284 in the third round to move to a first place finish and win the conference title at Wailua Golf Course in Lihue, Hawaii, Tuesday. CSUF ended the tournament at 12-over-par 876 and senior Matt Wilson won the individual competition at 5-under-par 211.
Starting the second day of the tournament, UCI led in the standings, 10-over-par 586, six strokes ahead of the Titans, but lost the lead once the third round started.
The Titans overcame the deficit as they were the only team to finish under par in the third round. UCI ended the round at 10-over-par 298, moving them down to second place and the Anteaters held their position to finish their tournament run with a score of 20-over-par 884.
CSUF’s Derek Castillo finished the day on a high note after ending the front nine of the last round at 1-over-par 37.
On the back nine, Castillo went on a tear, hitting five birdies including four straight from hole 13 to hole 16.
The birdies helped Castillo finish the round 4-under-par 68, finishing the tournament tied for 10th at 5-over-par 221.
CSUF’s Jack Dyer and Michael Sharkey struggled during the two-day event, scoring 6-over-par 78 in the third round and each finished the tournament at a tie for 25th,12-over-par 228.
Sharkey had eight bogeys on the final day, five of which came from the back nine. Dyer had four bogeys, two of which came in the front nine and a double bogey on the second hole. He ended the tournament hitting a triple bogey on the final hole.
The final Titan participating in the event, Dalton Daniel, started the third round well, opening with a birdie in the first hole, one of six birdies he had on the day.
Despite the four bogeys he shot on the day, Daniel finished his day, 2-under-par 70, hitting three straight birdies from the 13th to the 15th hole. Dalton ended the tournament 8-over-par 224, tied for 17th place.
Individual champion Matt Wilson finished the third round at 4-under-par 68 for CSUF, hitting three birdies on the back nine of the final round.
This is the first time CSUF won the Big West title in five years, and Wilson’s win makes him the first Titan in the school’s history to win the individual championships for the conference.