April 6, 2004
LOMPOC, Calif. - Battling windy conditions and a slow start to the round, UC Davis captured its first tournament title of the season with a three-stroke victory over UC Riverside at the Bite/Pacific Coast Intercollegiate, hosted by UC Santa Barbara, on the par 72, 7,105-yard La Purisima Golf Course Tuesday afternoon.
The Aggies held a share of the lead with Cal State Northridge entering Tuesday's final round and it looked bleak as UC Davis started 7-over after the first two holes. But as the wind picked up, the Aggies held strong to finish the day at 12-over par, 300, and 881 for the three rounds. That was good for a three-stroke win over UC Riverside (884), which shot 297 on Tuesday. Northridge (885) finished with a 304 on Tuesday and ended up in a tie for third along with Saint Mary's (885). New Mexico State rounded out the top five at 888.
Individually, Cal Poly's Travis Bertoni fired an even-par 72 on Tuesday to claim a one-stroke victory over New Mexico State's Brian Thornburg for medalist honors. Bertoni's 213 total for the three rounds was one stroke better than Thornburg (214) and two better that UC Riverside's Brendan Steele (215) and first-day leader Pete Sisich (215) of Northridge. Aggie senior Scott Gordon finished Tuesday with a 1-under 71, one of only six rounds under par on the afternoon, to finish in a tie for fifth at even-par 216. Pacific's Troy McKinley (216) finished tied for fifth with Gordon, three strokes off the lead.
In addition to Gordon, who registered his fifth top 10 finish of the season, freshman Louie Bishop finished tied for 12th at 221, eight strokes off the lead. Junior Eric Restrepo, who tied for second last week at the Aggie Invitational, shot a final-round 77 to finish in a tie for 23rd at 224. Sophomore Erik Hill fired the second best round by an Aggie on Tuesday with a 2-over 74 to finish at 227 and in a tie for 32nd. Joining Hill at 227 was senior Chris Kilkenny, who began the day in 14th place before shooting an 81 on Tuesday.
"We started out slow but as the weather continued to get worse, the guys sucked it up and played great," said Aggie head coach Cy Williams. "It's always nice to come away from a tournament with the victory and we will enjoy it on the way home then get ready for another tough tournament next week in Turlock."
The win marked the first tournament victory by the Aggies since capturing the 2003 NCAA Division II West Regional in Littleton, Colo. It also is the 18th victory by a UC Davis under Williams since the 1996-97 season.
UC Davis will next be in action on Monday when it participates in the Buzzini/Stanislaus Invitational at the Turlock Country Club.