Clan Reach Championships, Earn Team of the Week
Chris Crisologo led the Clan, tying for sixth after shooting a 1-under par 71 in the third round.
Chris Crisologo led the Clan, tying for sixth after shooting a 1-under par 71 in the third round.

Monday, May 11, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Simon Fraser men’s golf team tied for third at the NCAA South Central/West Regional tournament last week at the Hiddenbrooke Golf Course in Vallejo, Calif., earning a trip to its second consecutive NCAA Championships. The Clan was named Red Lion Hotels Team of the Week for their performance.

Their third-place finish in the 20-team regional qualified them for the NCAA Championships May 18-22 at the Rock Barn Golf Course and Spa in Conover, N.C. SFU heads back to the Championships after a 17th place finish a year ago. 

“At the end of the day, we had mixed feelings on how we played,” head coach John Buchanan said. “Our caliber of play in a few rounds was up to our capabilities, but, all in all, we can’t complain. We’re going to nationals.”

The Clan was led individually by freshman Chris Crisologo, whose 1-under par 71 was the third lowest score of the tournament. The freshman moved up to tie for sixth after his final round, carding a three round score of 220. This was only three strokes away from the individual champion, Patrick Skakel from CSU – Colorado Springs, who carded a 217.

Under windy playing conditions, SFU came out stroking the ball well. Five SFU golfers recorded 14 birdies and an eagle in the opening round.

“This was a really difficult course,” Buchanan said. “There were very steep hills, hazards all over the place and the winds were really high. At one point we had four golfers hit the green on the third hole, but because of the winds and the slope of the green, none of them stayed on it. This was just not an easy golf course under those conditions.”

Crisologo shot an even par 72 in the opening round. He was closely contested by two other teammates, Bret Thompson and John Mlikotic, who each shot 2-over par in their first rounds.

By the end of the first day, the Clan was tied for second at the regional. The team's opening round of 296 tied for the fourth lowest score at the regional.

“I think only three players broke par in the first round. If anyone had a team score under 300 it was a good round and we had 296 the first day.”

The second day saw the Clan’s fifth golfer, Alan Tolusso, pull out of his round which put more pressure on the four other Clan golfers. The team did put together seven birdies, but couldn’t rebound from shooting 17 bogey's in round two.

Even with a second round score of 309, the Clan only dropped one spot to tie for third. Taking the second spot was Sonoma State which carded a 300 in the first and 297 in the second round.

“We felt like we gave up the second spot after the first round, but Sonoma played well and deserved the second spot,” Buchanan said.

The third round was when Crisologo made his move. Shooting four birdies on the front nine, the freshman would put together a 1-under par 71 to jump from 10th to sixth in the final standings. His under-par round was one of only 14 in the 108-player tournament.

Thompson, who was in contention for a top 10 finish entering the final nine holes, double-bogeyed two of them in the final stretch, tying him for 19th.  

Mlikotic had a strong finish in his last 18 holes, carding three birdies in the final round for a 35th place finish.

GNAC Player of the Year Kevin Vigna started out slow, carding an 82, but finished with rounds of 77 and 79, tying for a 65th place.

Tolusso carded an 81 in the final round, but did not qualify for an official finish because he did not compete in round two.

The South Central/West Regional Champions, Cal State Monterey Bay, will join the Clan at the NCAA Championships along with Sonoma State, Chico State and West Texas A&M. CSU Monterey Bay, Chico State and SFU are all ranked in Golfstat’s top 10 nationally in Division II.