Record-Breaking Win Earns SFU Team of the Week
Head Coach John Buchanan and the Clan won their first-ever GNAC Championship title Tuesday at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course.
Head Coach John Buchanan and the Clan won their first-ever GNAC Championship title Tuesday at the Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course.

Monday, April 27, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – After breaking a few conference records and earning its first-ever GNAC Championship title last Tuesday at the Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course, the Simon Fraser men’s golf squad was honored with another accolade – Red Lion Hotels Team of the Week.

The Clan displayed one of the most dominant performances in GNAC championship history as they finished with the top four golfers individually, outshooting the rest of the field by 37-strokes. The stroke differential was the highest in GNAC history.

Individual honors went to the Clans Bret Thompson, who withstood a late push from teammate Chris Crisologo to earn his first-ever GNAC victory. Thompson shot a 68 and 67 in the first day of the tournament, jumping out to a four-stroke lead. A 1-under 70 on the final round of competition sealed the title for the junior who broke the GNAC Championship record with a 54-hole total of 205.

Two other SFU golfers finished the first-day, and the tournament, under par in Crisologo and John Mlikotic. The pair carded a 69 in round one and a 70 and 71, respectively, in round two to finish the first day in second and third place. Crisologo had four birdies and an eagle in the final round to come within one stroke of the tournament single-round record of 65. Crisologo ended his tournament at minus-7 while Mlikotic carded a minus-1. These two golfers, along with Thompson, were the only GNAC participants to finish under par.

In fourth-place was SFU’s Kevin Vigna who had four top-10 finishes heading into the event. Sitting at 2-over par at the beginning of the third round, Vigna carded a 70 in the final day of play. It was his second round of the tournament at, or under, par.

"Every athlete builds on their experiences," SFU coach John Buchanan said. "Our team blossomed and played well in conference. Most years you're happy if one or two players play to form in a tournament. This year we had four do that in one day."

Of the 15 rounds played by the five Clan golfers participating in the championship, 10 of them were at or below par. The rest of the 25-player GNAC field had 11.

SFU was dominant the first-day of play as five Clan golfers combined for 19 birdies to reach a 10-under par 277. The first-round of 277 was yet another record set by the Clan in the GNAC Championship.

Taking a 23-stroke lead into the final round of competition, 12 more birdies propelled the Clan to their first-ever golf championship. Their final score of 837 broke the old conference tournament record by 13-strokes, which was set in 2010.

The team seemed to be building up to this dominating performance. Before the championship event, SFU had placed first or second in four of the eight invitationals it participated in while four golfers had a combined eight top-five finishes. In the four appearances by SFU this spring, it never finished below fifth in any tournament.

Next for the Clan is the NCAA Super Regional May 4-6 at the Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in Vellejo, Calif. The 20-team regional will feature 108 student-athletes, including 11 from the GNAC and five from Simon Fraser.

This is the second-straight year the SFU men’s golf team has reached the regional round, taking sixth place last season to advance to the NCAA Championship.