Tigers Close Out The Fall With A Third Place Finish At The Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational

Matt Lee - Photo by: Keith Sanpei
Matt Lee - Photo by: Keith Sanpei

Stockton, Calif. - Ending play at the 2014 Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational and finishing the fall season, the Tiger golf team came up with a third place finish after shooting a -3, 281, on Saturday, Nov. 1. The Tigers were one of just two teams to shoot under-par on the final day of the invitational as they got back to even par for the tournament to finish behind Washington State and Denver.

Washington State came up with the best round of the day on Saturday morning to capture the invitational title as the Cougars went seven-under to post a -11 at the top of the standings. Despite their team win, the Cougars did not have the top individual in the tournament as that honor went to Santa Clara's Hayden Shieh who threw down the gauntlet early in the day and held off all challengers for the victory at eight-under par for the tournament.

"I'd really like to thank the community and all those who helped make this tournament possible," said head coach Chris Hill. "The support the golf community has shown this tournament and this program is one of a kind and one of the reasons I'm here and what enticed me to this job. The support they show for these players is second to none and not like this around the rest of the country. For the community to completely embrace the golf team is truly special."

On the final day of the invitational, the Tigers got off to a rough start as they began the day on the back-nine of the Stockton Golf and Country Club course in the late group. Struggling with holes 10-18, the Tigers saw just one golfer come out unscathed as junior Matt Lee was able to post an even-par, 36, over the first nine holes. Behind him, the rest of the Tigers fell blow par by five strokes as they slipped down the leaderboard.

Despite the rough go of it to start the day, the Tigers would not let the opening nine holes ruin their round as Pacific caught fire on the front of the course to push their way back up the leaderboard. Leading the way was Lee who continued to pace the Tigers on the course with three birdies to go three-under for the day. Lee got rolling quickly around the turn as he posted his first two birdies on the first two holes on the front to get Pacific started. For the tournament, Lee finished in a tie for 19th after posting a +2, 215 over the three days.

Right behind Lee on the day was senior Byron Meth who came on strong late as his putts began to find the bottom of the cup after just missing early. Ending his round with a pair of birdies on holes 8 and 9, Meth was able to shoot a -2, 69 in the round as he finished with three birdies on the front after tallying a single bogey on the back nine. Meth ended as the Tigers' top golfer as he posted a fourth place finish after tallying a -4, 209 for the invitational.

In addition to the two at the top, senior Drew Bender and freshman Anthony Madrid came up with solid finishes to their tournaments as the duo each recorded one-over, 72, on the final day of action. Bender ended up tied with Lee for 19th overall after duplicating his round from the opening day.

"We had a great fall with three top-5 finishes and a sixth place finish," stated Hill. "The culture is being honed even further that third is not good enough and top-5's aren't good enough. Our guys are demanding and wanting victories every time we step on the course. That's exciting for me as a coach. Having a 1-2 punch like Matt (Lee) and Byron (Meth) and the supporting cast growing around them is special and we are building towards something big come the WCC Championships and the regionals."

The Tigers will take a break for the winter before returning for the spring half of their 2014-15 season beginning at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson, Arizona on Jan. 26-27.

3 281 -3 290 +6 281 -3 852 E
T4 Byron Meth (1) -3 (F) +1 (F) -2 (F) 209
T19 Drew Bender (5) +1 (F) (F) +1 (F) 215
T19 Matt Lee (2) (F) +5 (F) -3 (F) 215
T38 Sj Maeng (3) -1 (18) +4 (F) +4 (F) 220
T48 Anthony Madrid (4) +8 (F) +1 (F) +1 (F) 223
T48 Colten Passey IND +5 (F) +3 (F) +2 (F) 223
T54 Jesper Kasanen IND +4 (F) +5 (F) +5 (F) 227