Photo by: UCSD
Freshman Clayton Yamaguchi was 5-over for the tournament.

Season Ends With 18th-Place Finish at NCAA Regional


DUPONT, Wash. - The UC San Diego golf team's season came to an end Wednesday with an 18th-place finish at the NCAA Division II South Central/West Regional, held at The Home Course outside of Tacoma.

UCSD finished with a three-round total of 892, 28-over par on the par-72, 7,078-yard course. The Tritons had their least-productive round of the tournament Wednesday, carding a 304 after posting a 297 in Monday's opening round and a 291 in Tuesday's second round.

Freshman Clayton Yamaguchi was the top finisher for UCSD, tying for 54th place.

Sixth-ranked Cal State Monterey Bay led wire-to-wire, totaling a winning score of 854, 10-under par. No. 10 Western Washington was one stroke behind in second place, while No. 11 Grand Canyon was third, just two shots behind CSUMB. Colorado-Colorado Springs was fourth and 12th-ranked Cal State Stanislaus rounded out the top five. All five squads advance to the NCAA Championship, which will be held May 20-24 in Hershey, Pa. 

Western Washington's Kyle Schrader was the individual medalist, carding a 10-under 206 for the tourney. His 66 on Wednesday tied for the low round of the regional. Schrader entered the day tied for sixth.

The top two individual finishers not playing for a qualifying team - Sonoma State's Eric Ash (T-3rd) and Hawaii-Hilo's Dalen Yamauchi (5th) - also advanced to the NCAA Championships.

UCSD was tied for 14th after round one and dropped to 16th following the second round. All five Tritons posted over-par rounds Wednesday.

Yamaguchi finished with a 221, 5-over. He shot a 75 Monday and followed with a 71 Tuesday, moving him from 61st to 39th. However, his 3-over 75 in the final round dropped him back into a tie for 54th.

"Today, I struggled with my putting," said Yamaguchi, who registered five birdies, six bogeys and a double. "I struck the ball decently, but I was missing putts, so I didn't score very well."

Juniors Fredrik Palmer-Picard and Lewis Simon tied for 61st, each finishing with a 6-over 222. Simon was UCSD's top golfer Monday with a 70, while Palmer-Picard's 69 on Tuesday proved to be the lowest round of any Triton in Washington.

"I hit my driver really well today, but I could not hit my irons accurately," said Simon. "I was missing in some bad spots. When I missed a green, I'd chip it up, maybe five or ten feet, and just couldn't make the putt. It was a tough day."

Simon was tied for 11th overall after the opening round.

"Monday, I wasn't hitting it that solid, but I was missing it in spots where I could easily get up and down, and that was the main difference for me," he said. "I had some mis-reads on the greens today, it was hard to get the speed down, especially on the front nine."

Also playing for UCSD at the regional, sophomore Jay Lim finished tied for 82nd (227) and junior Jacob Williams was 108th (242).

"We have a lot of young talent and high hopes for next year," said Simon. "Our younger players exceeded expectations this season and we'd like to see more of that from our incoming players. We expect to do really well next year."

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