PASO ROBLES, Calif. - Freshman Clayton Yamaguchi came in third overall to lead the UC San Diego men's golf squad to a fifth-place finish Tuesday at the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships at Hunter Ranch Golf Course in San Luis Obispo County.
UCSD, which was also in fifth after Monday's first two rounds of the tournament, totaled a 10-over par 874. The Tritons shot a 294 in Tuesday's third and final round after carding a 285 and a 295 on Monday. The 874 was the team's second-lowest total of the season.
Cal State Monterey Bay, the fourth-ranked team in the nation, ran away with the team title by finishing with an 845 (282-274-289), 19-below par. Host and 11th-ranked Cal State Stanislaus placed second, nine strokes behind CSUMB with an 854 (282-281-291). Sonoma State also finished below par, taking third with a 4-under 860 (286-289-285).
CSUMB's 845 broke the CCAA's record at Hunter Ranch by one stroke.
Yamaguchi carded a 211 over the three rounds, 5-under par. He went 69-72 Monday and wrapped up his stellar effort with a 70 Tuesday on the par-72, 6,741-yard course. Yamaguchi's third-place showing was the highest for any Triton this season. The Los Angeles native, who was tied for fourth at the end of the day Monday, has placed in the top-five in two of his last three events.
"Clayton's solo third-place finish was a fantastic achievement and we are all very proud of him," said UCSD head coach Mike Wydra. "He made 18 birdies during the tournament, second only to the 19 made by the eventual winner."
Yamaguchi's 69 on Monday tied for the lowest single-round score by a Triton this season. Of 40 competitors, he was third in par-4 scoring with a 3.90 stroke average. Consistent play led to six birdies in each of his three rounds, including three straight on holes 15, 16 and 17 in the second round. Yamaguchi posted four birdies on the front nine in round one.
The individual medalist was Brandon Hortt of Cal State Monterey Bay. He totaled a 12-under 204 (67-64-73), five strokes ahead of his nearest competitor. Tyler Barker from Cal State Stanislaus was second with a 7-under 209 (69-71-69), just two shots in front of Yamaguchi.
Hortt is the fifth-straight Otter to win the CCAA individual title.
Four of UCSD's five players finished among the top-20. Sophomore Jay Lim (73-73-75) and juniors Lewis Simon (71-74-76) and Jacob Williams (72-76-73) all tied for 18th by carding a 221. Freshman Daniel Yang was 29th with a 228 (74-77-77).
Williams was tied for fifth in par-3 scoring (3.08), while Simon holed 40 pars, the second-most of any player. Lim's 36 pars were tied for sixth. Williams made a three on the par-5 17th Tuesday, one of nine eagles recorded during the tourney.
"Some of the veterans had a tournament that was indicative of their abilities," said Wydra. "However, we are still trying to find the right combination of players."
The Tritons now wait to hear if they will be among the teams selected for the NCAA Division II West/Central Super Regional, which will be held May 6-8 at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. The top-10 squads from each region qualify. In the most current NCAA regional rankings, released on April 19, UCSD is eighth in the West.
The selections will be announced later this week.
In 2012, the Tritons finished third at the CCAA Championships and 14th at the NCAA West/Central Super Regional. It was the team's first appearance in a regional since 2007.
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