STOCKTON, Calif. - The UC San Diego men's golf team placed third of eight squads at the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championship Wednesday, equaling the program's best-ever finish at the league event. Three Tritons were among the top-10 individual finishers at Brookside Country Club.
UCSD completed the 54-hole tournament with an 18-over par 882. The Tritons shot a 297 Wednesday after recording a 298 and a 287 in Tuesday's first two rounds. The total was the second-lowest for the team this season.
Lewis Simon was the top finisher for the Tritons, tying for eighth with a 3-over 219 on the par-72, 6,720-yard Brookside layout. The senior from Torrance shot 74-72-73.
"The last two days were certainly a step in the right direction for the team," said first-year UCSD head coach Jim Ragan. "We were seeded fifth and finished third, which is an indication that we're improving."
Cal State Stanislaus, ranked 13th nationally, won the team title by 17 strokes, compiling a 5-under 859. The Warriors were the lone team to finish under par. Fourth-ranked Cal State Monterey Bay, the 2013 CCAA champion, placed second with a 12-over 876.
CSUS also earned the individual crown as Trevor Clayton topped the 40-player field with a 6-under par 210. Lee Gearhart of Chico State was second, five strokes behind Clayton. Three other players tied for third place, just one stroke removed from Gearhart.
Also competing for the Tritons, Clayton Yamaguchi finished tied for 24th (75-71-82--228) and Jeff Roseth tied for 28th (79-76-75--230). Yamaguchi's 71 in Tuesday's second round was the only under-par round shot by a Triton.
UCSD placed ahead of two top-25 nationally-ranked teams as No. 5 Chico State was fourth and No. 23 Sonoma State finished fifth.
UC San Diego edged Chico State by just one stroke. Lim needed to par his final hole in order for the Tritons to stay ahead of the Wildcats. He slid a birdie putt four feet past the cup and made the pressure putt to clinch the third-place showing.
"It got a little tight at the end and for our guys to step up over the last couple of holes and beat out Chico State for third was a testament to the team's potential and how important it was to them," said Ragan. "To get in there and compete against some of the best teams in the country in the final round was such a positive experience for our guys."
The Tritons owned second place at the end of the day Tuesday, but the Otters' 290 on Wednesday, the team's best round of the tourney, was enough to propel them past UCSD and lift them into the second spot.
UCSD also finished third at the CCAA Championship in 2012.
The Tritons will now wait until April 25 at 1 p.m. PT to learn if they have qualified for NCAA postseason play. Regional competition takes place May 5-7 in Austin, Texas, while the NCAA Championship is slated for May 19-23 in Allendale, Mich.