The University of Colorado men’s golf team wasn’t able to make up any real ground here Wednesday, as the Buffaloes finished 10th in the 60th Annual Pac-12 Conference Championships.
No. 17 Stanford pulled away over the final nine holes and would finish as the only team under par with a 7-under stroke total of 1,443. No. 32 UCLA claimed second, seven back with an even-par total of 1,420, with third round leader and No. 10 California finishing third at 1,421. Then there was a lot of separation, as No. 2 Arizona State placed fourth (1,443) with No. 39 Oregon and No. 76 Utah sharing fifth (1,451).
The Buffaloes finished with a 60-over par team score of 1,480. Colorado was hoping it could move up a few spots, but with windy conditions much of the day combined with final round pin placements, made it virtually impossible to turn in a team round under par. Stanford had the best final day tally (4-over 359), while 10 teams were at least 12-over including Colorado (32-over 386).
Colorado, ranked No. 78, came in on the bubble for the NCAA Championships, needing a tie for eighth or better to meet the first criteria for selection, a winning record against Division I competition. The 10th place finish gave CU a final record of 87-89-1, eliminating CU from qualifying for the regionals after earning berths the last six years.
“The golf course played really hard today, very strong winds from the north and tough hole locations,” head coach Roy Edwards said. “We didn’t play our best, but we competed well.
“Overall this season was a mixed bag. We won twice but were not consistent enough and it came down to two tournaments being the difference in making the NCAA’s again or not.”
Junior Daniel O’Loughlin led the Buffaloes here, tying for 33rd with a 9-over 293 total after four times around the 7,044-yard, par-71 Eugene Country Club course layout. After a strong start (67-70), he closed with a second straight 7-over 78. He made the turn at 1-over, but a triple bogey on No. 1 and then a double on the last hole of the event accounted for five strokes of his overage. His 15 birdies overall still tied for the seventh-most overall, after his 12 had led the field at the midway point (the leaders had 18), and he was ninth in par-3 scoring (3.13, or 2-over par).
Sophomore Cole Krantz tied for 46th with a 13-over 297 total, as he fired a 6-over 77 to close the tourney; he had two birdies, eight pars and eight bogeys his final time around the ECC track. He tied for the most birdies by a Buff after O’Loughlin with 10 and had CU’s lone eagle as well.
Junior Ross Macdonald shot an 11-over 82 that had him fall 17 spots in the standings to a 51st-place tie, as when all was said and done he finished with a 16-over 300. He was the unfortunate victim of three double bogeys Wednesday, the only three holes all week that he had worse than bogey.
Freshman John Paterson carded a 5-over 76 in the final round (a team-high 13 pars and five bogeys tallied that result), and he would tie Macdonald for 51st place as he also had a 16-over 300 total. His 49 pars over four rounds led the Buffs and tied for the sixth-most in the field this week.
Sophomore Trevor Olkowski finished with an 8-over 79, which had him top out at 17-over 301, tying him for 54th. He had 10 birdies total, one Wednesday, tied for the second-most by a CU player. He had the fewest holes worse than bogey – two – by any Buff over the 72 holes.
Freshman Kristoffer Max wrapped the CU contingent here, closing with a 5-over 76, matching Paterson meaning the two freshmen for the Buffs here posted the low score of the final round. Max had a birdie and 11 pars against six bogeys Wednesday to finish at 20-over 304, which tied him for 59th.