May 2, 2011
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. - After a disappointing opening-round, Cal State Northridge fired a blistering second round 283 and is currently in fourth-place, 13 shots off the pace after day one of the Big West Championship at Mission Viejo Country Club.
After opening Monday with a team score of 306, the Matadors responded with a tournament-low 283 in round two and carry a score of 589 into Tuesday's final round. UC Davis is the team leader after two rounds with a team score of 576 (288-288) while Pacific (584) is second and Cal Poly (587) is currently third among the nine teams competing.
Northridge's second round 283 is the low 18-hole round by the Matadors this season.
"I can't explain what happened on that front nine of the first round," said head coach Jim Bracken. "But I'm proud of the guys for fighting hard in the second round. The greens were tough today, getting the speed down was tough and it was hard for guys to get up and down."
Senior Nick Delio and sophomore Chris Russo are both in the thick of the race for individual champion honors as Delio is one shot off the lead in second place and Russo is tied for third, two shots back. Junior Matt Siporin is currently tied for 15th while freshman Jake Katz is tied for 32nd and junior Arthur Chung is in 41st-place.
"I think both guys have a shot at winning the tournament," said Bracken. "Nick battled in the first round and Chris had another good day after coming close last year. We've got to get off to a good start tomorrow and put some pressure on the field. We've just got to relax and play the way we can play."
Delio, who opened with a two over-par 74, carded a competitive course record and tournament-low five under-par 67 in round two and sits at three under-par 141 heading into the final round. Delio trails UC Davis' Austin Graham by one shot with 18 holes to play as he seeks his first Big West title. The senior from Valencia had two eagles on Monday to go with eight pars but was victimized by one double bogey and five bogeys in the first round. Delio eagled the par-five 17th in the first round and the par-five 14th in round two,
Russo was the most consistent CSUN golfer in the first round as he birdied No. 7 to go with six pars on his way to a one over-par 37 on the front nine. Despite three bogeys on the back nine, Russo matched that with three birdies to fire an even-par 36 on the back nine to close round one at one over-par 73. He came back with five birdies and had just one bogey in carding a three under-par 69 in the afternoon round and sits at two under-par 142 with 18 holes to go.
Siporin was the third Matador golfer to improve greatly from round one to round two. The junior struggled with six bogeys, one double bogey to go with just two birdies in an opening round (+6) 78. Siporin then doubled his birdie count in round two as he birdied No. 4, No. 6, No. 11 and No. 17 on his way to a one under-par round of 71. He is still in the chase at five over-par 149 heading into the final round.
Katz, playing his first Big West Championship, had one quadruple bogey, three double bogeys and one bogey in round one as he opened with a (+9) 81. He then opened the second round with a birdie on No. 2 on his way to a four over-par 76 and currently sits in a tie for 32nd at (+13) 157.
Chung struggled mightily in the first round of his first conference championship as the junior finished the front nine at +10, 46. Chung made par at No. 1 and No. 8 but double bogeyed holes three-five and bogeyed four others. But he bounced back with a (+6) 78 in round two after tallying four birdies.
The third and final round of the 2011 Big West Men's Golf Championship tees off Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 a.m. Live scoring of the event can be viewed at www.golfstat.com.
BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIP
Mission Viejo, Calif.
Mission Viejo C.C.
May 2-3, 2011
1. UC Davis 288-288--576
2. Pacific 291-293--584
3. Cal Poly 295-292--587
4. Northridge 306-283--589
5. UC Irvine 301-299--600
6. UC Santa Barbara 307-304--611
7. CSU Fullerton 314-301--615
8. UC Riverside 307-313--620
9. Long Beach State 312-312--624
1. Austin Graham, UC Davis 70-70--140 (-4)
2. Nick Delio, Northridge 74-67--141 (-3)
3. Geoff Gonzalez, Cal Poly 70-72--142 (-2)
3. Bryan Pierce, Cal Poly 69-73--142 (-2)
3. Chris Russo, Northridge 73-69--142 (-2)
6. Max Greil, UC Irvine 72-71--143 (-1)
7. Alex Edfort, Pacific 73-72--145 (+1)
7. Patrick Kucich, Pacific 73-72--145 (+1)
9. Alex Johnson, Pacific 72-74--146 (+2)
9. Tyler Raber, UC Davis 71-75--146 (+2)
- GO MATADORS -