Golf team takes fourth in final tuneup before Championships

Staring at a tournament title drought that stretched back to the fall of 2006, the Lions golf team broke open the floodgates with a 14-stroke victory at the 12-team USF Triumph at Pauma Valley in March. Tourney titles have not poured in during the team's two subsequent competitions, but they have managed to notch consecutive Top-5 finishes. A tie for fifth was achieved by the team in the field of 10 at the Anteater Invitational from March 30-31 and was followed by a fourth place finish at the 15-team Colorado-Stevinson Ranch Invitational on Monday and Tuesday.

Aided by a tournament-leading 47 birdies, the Lions finished with a three-round total of 880. By shooting a 289, the Lions were the leaders heading into the clubhouse after the first round. A 295 in the second round, though, dropped the Lions down to fifth. Their 296 in the third round garnered them the fourth spot in the tournament. Nevada secured the title after shooting a final round 289 to end up at 869. Only two strokes separated the Lions from second-place Colorado.

Senior Greg Moss tallied 11 birdies and was the Lions' top performer for the sixth time this season as he posted a 2-over 218 on the Par 72 course, which left him in a tie for eighth out of the 86 players who completed all three rounds.

Coming up next for the Lions on the leaderboard were senior Brian Locke and freshman Jake Sarnoff, who both shot a five-over 221, putting them in a tie for 18th. Sarnoff opened with a 77 before rebounding with a 73 and 71 in the last two rounds. Sophomore John Lim, who won his first tournament title at the USF Triumph, recorded a seven-over 223 to wind up in a tie for 26th.' ' '

Rounding out the line-up for the Lions was junior Blake Nicolai, who shot 233 to end up in a tie for 70th. Senior Louie Bergna played as an individual, which means his stats did not count toward the team total, and recorded a 240.

Through 30 rounds this season, Sarnoff has the lowest stroke average at 72.7 and has the most Top-20 finishes on the team with seven. He is also tied with two and one, respectively, for most Top-10 and Top-5 finishes. Moss and Locke are not far behind Sarnoff's average at 73.1, while Lim is at 73.7.'

Only one Top-5 finish was mustered by the Lions in the fall, but now they have reeled off four straight heading into the WCC Championships, which begin April 13 at the Hiddenbrooke Golf Course in Vallejo. It will be a two-day competition as two rounds will be completed on the 13th before the third and final round on the 14th. Defending team champion, USD, will look to repeat, while LMU is looking to improve on its fourth place finish. A key factor in winning the championship for the Lions will be Locke, who will be gunning for his third WCC Individual title. He is the only two-time WCC Individual champion. '

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