The Colorado men’s golf team turned its best round of three Saturday at Stanford, Calif., but was only able to gain three spots in the final standings in finishing in a tie for 15th as “The Goodwin” came to a close.
Host and No. 12 Stanford led from start-to-finish, winning with a team score of 3-under 837, the team under par. The Cardinal withheld a charge from No. 1 Southern California, who settled into second at 846; No. 15 UNLV (850), No. 5 Oregon (854) and No. 37 Washington (860) rounded out the top five. The same schools occupied the top five as after two rounds, with only Oregon and Washington switching positions.
No. 18 Colorado turned in the ninth-best score Saturday, a 5-over 285, but couldn’t makeup much ground on the field in finishing with a 44-over 884 total. The Buffs knocked 16 strokes off their second round score, but in the end played just their second tournament in 10 tries this season without at least one team round under par.
The school record run of nine straight team finishes in the top five unfortunately came to an end; the old best was eight on two occasions.
Senior Ethan Freeman turned in the best performance for the Buffs this week, as he tied for 36th with an 8-over 218 score; he wrapped things up Saturday with a 2-over 72. He had a team-high 12 birdies overall, which tied for the fifth-most in the field (he had four in the final round), with 24 pars, 16 bogeys and two doubles on the 6,727-yard, par-70 Stanford University Golf Course. He was 3-over after six holes but settled down to play his last 12 at 1-under.
Junior Spencer Painton finished up with CU’s best individual round of the tournament, carding his best gross score as a collegian with a 2-under 68 to finish at 9-over 219 overall. He had a team-high five birdies Saturday, with 12 pars against three bogeys; he also had the team’s best nine-hole score of 32, thanks to four of his birdies on the front side, including three in a row from Nos. 7 through 9. He had just one hole worse than bogey all tournament.
Painton was tied for 74th entering Saturday’s final 18, and was the biggest mover in the field, jumping 33 spots into the tie for 41st.
Senior Jeremy Paul fashioned a 1-over 71 in the final round to finish at 13-over 223, tying him for 63rd. He also had just one hole worse than bogey, in otherwise recording six birdies, 31 pars and 16 bogeys. This marked just the sixth time in 46 events that he did record at least one round of par or better, though he came close Saturday playing the back nine at 2-under and was fairly steady with three birdies and 11 pars against four bogeys.
Junior John Souza turned in a second straight 4-over 74, which gave him a 54-hole total of 16-over 226, tying him for 80th. He arrived at his score in the same fashion he did on Friday, with two birdies and 11 pars against four birdies and a double (with 11 identical holes).
Junior Yannik Paul closed with a second consecutive 5-over 75, which gave him an 18-over 228 score that tied him for 93rd. It was a most uncharacteristic performance and his most strokes over par in tournament since the end of his freshman year and his third most as a collegian. He had six birdies and 31 pars here, with 12 bogeys but five holes higher that accounted for 12 of his strokes over par.