Washington State Makes History at Husky Invitational;  three aces in the same tournament

Washington State Makes History at Husky Invitational; three aces in the same tournament

The Washington state men’s golf team accomplished something they had never done before: the Cougars won a tournament in the western half of their 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 ahead of USC and five ahead of the host Huskies.

“We got off to a shaky start, but give our guys credit. They just hung on and worked their way back and seemed very patient and just played until there were no holes left,” Washington State coach Dustin White said. “You really couldn’t draw a 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 finished in the top five in the individual rankings. Cantafio led the Cougars after he shot a four-under 68 in the final round to finish with a three-under 213, which was solo third. He moved up 15 places in his final round, which included five birdies and an eagle on the par-4 18th hole. Cantafio finished his day one shot behind Washington’s Taehoon Song and five shots behind USC’s Jackson Rivera, who won the tournament. Yanagi finished with a two-under 214 in the tournament, tied for fifth place.

“The teams that we were paired with and that we were competing with, these are high level teams and you know, a lot of respect for those guys,” White said. “I mean, it’s hard to win in college golf, and any time you get a chance to be in contention, there’s no other feeling like it. So we’re really thankful for the fact that we had some teams that pushed us, and I think we all made each other better.”

Oregon finished fourth, a stroke behind Washington, and Long Beach State posted a fifth-place finish.

Rivera, a sophomore, has finished in the top 10 in four of his last five starts. It is the first victory of his college career.

Madness in Fort Collins

In terms of craziness, there was plenty at the Ram Masters Classic at Fort Collins Country Club in Colorado. There were three holes in one, an albatross and a tied tournament record during the two-day, 54-hole event.

UC San Diego’s Eliot Bunyaviroch won the par-3 second hole with an 8-iron in 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. So Texas A&M Commerce’s Kittiphong Phaithuncharoensuk he ace the par 3 14 during the second round. Northern Colorado’s Garrett Willis then had an albatross, 210-yard 8-iron on the first par-5 hole in the second round.

Host Colorado State finished 17 under in the tournament, tying the event record.

Big win for Cardinal, Thorbjornsen

Elsewhere, Stanford earned a trademark victory early in the season against a packed field at the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields, beating second-place Florida and Illinois by 13 strokes.

The Cardinal, ranked second in the Golfweek Sagarin ranking, even fired during the final round. Stanford led after each round, with junior Michael Thorbjornsen earning his first college win. He finished with a seven-under 203, outscoring 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’s Ryggs Johnston finished solo fourth with 5-under 205, while Illinois’ Tommy Kohl was solo 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 enter between December 1, 2023 1-15, 2022.

Additionally, the Division I Council now allows athletes who plan to enroll in another program after graduation to enter the transfer portal at any time.

Cameron Jourdan covers college and amateur golf for Golfweek. Do you have a college or amateur history? Email him at cjourdan@golfweek.com.

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The story originally appeared on GolfWeek

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