Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer
Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer
Snow finally melted from the Boulder Country Club course on Sunday, giving way to ideal conditions for the third and final round of the Pac-12 men’s golf championship.
Unfortunately for the host Colorado Buffaloes, they were unable to take advantage.
Too many mistakes along the way led to the Buffs finishing in seventh place, at 45-over par, in the weather-shortened tournament. Oregon, led by individual champion Wyndham Clark, claimed its first outright conference championship, at 15-over, while Stanford finished second.
“We’re disappointed,” CU head coach Roy Edwards said. “There’s no way around that, but like we said, ‘You don’t play well and you get beat; you play well in this league and you’re going to beat a lot of really good teams.’ It wasn’t because of a lack of effort out of the guys.”
Originally scheduled for four rounds, the tournament was suspended several times for weather and darkness on Friday, and never got underway on Saturday because of snow. Sunday morning, CU and the BCC staff — as well as anyone nearby with a shovel — removed the snow from the course to make it playable again.
“I was incredibly pleased,” Edwards said. “The effort from our staff at CU, the volunteers and the members and staff at Boulder Country Club was unbelievable. They’re the reason we got it in.”
CU, however, never got its game going. Finishing 10-over for the round, the Buffs were unable to pose a threat to the leaders.
“We’re definitely frustrated,” said senior Ethan Freeman, who finished in a tie for 20th individually, at 8-over. “We know that when we play our best we can compete with the best teams in the conference and the country.”
Tied for sixth after the second round, Freeman posted a 4-over 74 in the final round.
“I really didn’t hit it well and didn’t take advantage of the couple good shots that I hit and then I just putted pretty bad all around,” he said.
Spencer Painton also finished in a tie for 20th, closing with a 73. John Souza and Victor Bjorlow played well in the final round, both finishing at even-par 70, but it was a struggle all-around for CU.
“We just weren’t able to get it done today and just had some putts that didn’t drop,” Edwards said. “That’s the way it goes.”
Individually, nobody was better than Clark, a redshirt senior who transferred to Oregon this season after four years at Oklahoma State.
A graduate of Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, he finished the tournament at 4-under to win by three strokes.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Clark said. “It’s something I’ve thought about all year and really my whole career. I couldn’t think of a better place to get my first big championship than in my home state in front of my friends and family.”
An all-American and Big 12 player of the year at Oklahoma State in 2014, this was Clark’s third career win (all this season), but certainly his biggest. He was most pleased, however, with the Ducks’ team title. Oregon won North division titles in 1976 and 1977, but had never won the title outright.
“To me, that’s more important,” Clark said. “I want to win a championship, and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s pretty awesome that we won as a team and that was our first goal. It’s pretty awesome that I could be a part of their first championship.”
While Oregon celebrates, CU will look ahead. On Thursday, the Buffs will find out where they are headed for the NCAA regionals.
Despite their disappointment, the Buffs won’t soon forget this event, however. The support from home fans, as well as the staff and members at BCC, made it a memorable week, Painton said.
“Playing in front of our home crowd was awesome and certainly something we won’t forget,” he said.
Of course, Painton won’t forget the weather that made an impact on the event.
“Snow has never been involved in a tournament I’ve been in, so that part was interesting,” he said.
Pac-12 men’s golf championship
Boulder Country Club
1. Oregon……………………. 354-361-350—1065 (+15)
2. Stanford…………………. 363-363-342—1068 (+18)
T3.Washington…………….. 355-369-358—1082 (+32)
T3. Southern California….. 366 365-351—1082 (+32)
5. UCLA……………………. 363-372-353—1088 (+38)
6. Arizona State…………… 362-374-356—1092 (+42)
7. Colorado………………… 368-367-360—1095 (+45)
8. California………………… 367-364-365—1096 (+46)
9. Arizona…………………… 368-373-366—1107 (+57)
10. Washington State…….. 373-374-366—1113 (+63)
11.Oregon State…………… 376-376-367—1119 (+69)
12. Utah……………………….. 379-377-366—1122 (+72)
Top 10 individuals
1. Wyndham Clark, Oregon….. 69-68-69—206
T2. Rico Hoey, Southern California 72-68-69—209
T2. Franklin Huang, Stanford…. 72-69-68—209
T4. Maverick McNealy, Stanford 71-77-65—213
T4. Carl Yuan, Washington…….. 68-72-73—213
T6. Ryan Gronland, Oregon……. 70-76-68—214
T6. Corey Pereira, Washington… 69-75-70—214
T6. Collin Morikawa, California. 74-68-72—214
T9. Tyler Collier, UCLA………… 70-75-70—215
T9. Cole Madey, UCLA…………. 72-73-70—215
T9. Justin Suh, Southern California 72-78-65—215
T9. Brandon Wu, Stanford……… 76-71-68—215
T9. Isaiah Salinda, Stanford……. 75-73-67—215
T20. Ethan Freeman, 72-72-74—218
T20. Spencer Painton, 73-72-73—218
T31. Yannik Paul, 71-76-73—220
T31. John Souza, 75-75-70—220
T40. Victor Bjorlow, 77-76-70—223
T52. Wilson Belk, 79-72-74—225