The Washington state men’s golf team accomplished something it had never done before on Tuesday: The Cougars won a tournament in the western half of the state.
Washington state captured the tournament from its rival hosts, the Husky Invitational held in Bremerton, marking the first time the Cougars have won a tournament in the western part of the state. WSU finished 4-over 868, three strokes clear of USC and five ahead of the host Huskies.
“We got off to a shaky start, but give credit to our boys. They just hung there and clawed their way back and just seemed really patient and just played until there were no holes left,” said Washington State coach Dustin White. “There’s no better way to start your season.”
The win was White’s fourth during his tenure with the Cougars.
Junior Jaden Cantafio and senior Pono Yanagi both finished in the top five of the individual standings. Cantafio led the Cougars after shooting 4-under 68 on the final lap to finish at 3-under 213, finishing third solo. He rose 15 places in his final round, including five birdies and an eagle on the par-4 18th. Cantafio finished his day one stroke behind Washington’s Taehoon Song and five strokes behind USC’s Jackson Rivera, who won the tournament. Yanagi finished 2-under 214 for the tournament, tied for fifth.
“The teams we were paired with and competed with, these are high level teams and you know, a lot of respect goes to those guys,” White said. “I mean, it’s hard to win in college golf, and every time you get a chance to compete, there’s no other feeling like it. So we’re just really grateful for the fact that we had some teams that pushed us, and I think we’ve all made each other better.”
Oregon finished fourth, one shot behind Washington, and Long Beach State took fifth.
Rivera, a sophomore, has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five starts. It is the first win in his student career.
Crazy in Fort Collins
In terms of craziness, there was plenty of it at the Ram Masters Classic at Fort Collins Country Club in Colorado. There were three holes-in-one, an albatross and a tournament record tie in the two-day 54-hole event.
Eliot Bunyaviroch of UC San Diego made it to the par-3 second hole in the first round with an 8 iron on the first round. Creighton’s Shaun Campbell hit a pitching wedge on the ninth hole in the second round and his ball went into the cup. Dan Texas A&M Commerce’s Kittiphong Phaithuncharoensuk made an ace on the par-3 14th during the second round. Garrett Willis of Northern Colorado then had an albatross, an 8 iron from 210 yards on the par-5 first hole in the second round.
Host Colorado State finished 17th under for the tournament, tying the event record.
Big win for Cardinal, Thorbjornsen
Elsewhere, Stanford took a signature early-season win against a packed field at the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields, beating runner-up Florida and Illinois by 13 shots.
The Cardinal, second in the Golfweek Sagarin ranking, even shot in the last round. Stanford led after each lap and junior Michael Thorbjornsen took his first collegiate win. He finished at 7-under 203, beating Florida’s Ricky Castillo and Illinois’ Adrien Dumont de Chassart by one shot. Thorbjornsen became the first cardinal to win the tournament since Maverick McNealy in 2015.
Arizona State Ryggs Johnston finished fourth solo at 5-under 205, while Illinois Tommy Kohl soloed fifth at 4 under.
More transfer news
The NCAA Division I board of directors recently made changes to the transfer portal, including opening and closing dates for specific sports. For men’s golf, the portal will open on May 4, 2023 and close on June 17, 2023. For women’s golf, it will open on April 27, 2023 and close on June 10, 2023. There will also be a window for golfers to enter between December. 1-15, 2022.
In addition, the Division I Council now allows athletes who plan to enroll in another program after graduation to access the transfer portal at any time.
Cameron Jourdan covers college and amateur golf for Golf Week. Do you have a college or amateur story? Email him at [email protected]
College Golf Practice Facilities
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek