Cal Poly golfer Geoff Gonzalez stormed up the leader board and jumped 22 spots Saturday at the NCAA Colorado Regional to earn himself a spot at the NCAA Division I Championships.
Elsewhere, at the NCAA Southwest Regional, former Morro Bay High golfer Matt Hansen collected his first ever collegiate win for UC Davis, coming back from a one-stroke deficit to also earn a trip to the championships.
Gonzalez and Hansen are the first players from their schools to ever qualify for the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship.
Coming into the final round tied for 26th after shooting even par in the previous two, Gonzalez knew he needed a big round.
“The main thing has been weather issues. In the past two rounds and even in practice, we haven’t been able to get a full 18 holes in. (Saturday) the weather was nice and we were able to play through all the holes consecutively. I was able to keep my momentum and get a rhythm going,” he said.
When approaching the No. 6 hole late in the round, he said, he wasn’t sure where he stood.
“I had no clue what the number was going to be (to qualify), but I knew I had to finish strong. I was at the point where I was going to go for broke. I just took it one shot at a time,” Gonzalez said.
His final tee shot landed a mere half-inch away from the cup. He tapped in for a 6-under 66 that put him in a tie for fourth place with Oklahoma State’s Sean Einahus and Georgia’s Harris English at 210.
In Tucson, Hansen, who began the day in second place, used five birdies en route to a 3-under 68 round to help him win the regional.
His three-round total of 9-under 204 was the best on the team this season and gave him the two-stroke edge over Alex Moore of Oregon State, who led after the second round.
Both Gonzalez and Hansen earned their respective berths by being the top individual not on one of the five qualifying teams.
TRACK AND FIELDCuesta at the California Community College State Championships
Freshman Derick Hinch claimed the state pole vault title in clearing 16 feet, 8 1⁄4 inches, beating his closest competitor by half a foot.
He is the fourth Cougar to claim the pole vaulting state title. Hinch came in ranked fifth in the state. Freshman pole-vaulter Rachel Murphy finished in fourth place at 11-0 3⁄4.
Grace Mann finished in a tie for ninth place in the women’s pole vault after clearing 10-0 3⁄4.
Kasey Urman, also a freshman, took sixth in the women’s 1,500 meters, coming in at 4 minutes, 47.72 seconds while teammate Tyler Gates placed 12th in the men’s 10,000, finishing at 34.40.14. Austin Field was eighth in both the men’s shot put (50-5 1/2) and discus (149-4).
After 21 events, the Cuesta men are in 23rd place with 12 points and the women in 27th with eight points.
BASEBALLCal Poly 3, Pacific 2
After giving up the first run of the game to the Tigers on Friday, the Mustangs wasted no time scoring Saturday, as they plated the first run in the top of the first inning.
The Mustangs scored on an RBI ground out by D.J. Gentile that scored Bobby Crocker, who was hit by a pitch to lead off the game.
Pacific tied the score in the bottom of the second. Cal Poly would use runs in the top of the seventh and eighth innings pull away for the win.
Cal Poly had five hits, getting two apiece from J.J. Thompson and Jimmy Allen and a home run from Mitch Haniger in the top of the eighth — which proved to be the winning margin.
Steven Fischback picked up his seventh win in his seven-inning effort. He struck out seven and gave up one run on six hits.