FRESNO, Calif. -- Brimming with confidence, the Saint Mary's golf team posted a record-setting performance to win its second-straight tournament and claimed both the team title and medalist honors at the Nick Watney Invitational at Fort Washington Golf & Country Club.
The Gaels entered today's final round with a 1-stroke lead over local rival Cal and continued yesterday's blistering pace to finished with an 8-stroke victory over host Fresno State. SMC set a program low score for a 54-hole event with rounds of 283-270-272 for a 27-under par 825. The host Bulldogs finished in runner-up honors at 19-under, two strokes ahead of Cal and four in front of fourth place Sacramento State.
Sophomore Pavan Sagoo earned medalist honors by four strokes with his second-straight eye-popping performance. He also set the lowest 54-hole score in program history with a 16-under par 197.
"I'm very proud of our team and its ability to finish off the tournament while leading after the first two rounds," said SMC head coach Scott Hardy, who has led the Gaels program to eight tournament titles in the last five seasons. "We handled the final round pressure well and kept our focus throughout.
Sagoo carded his two lowest-ever competitive scores en route to his first collegiate tournament title. He posted rounds of 68-64-65 for a 197, which bettered the previous school record of 202 set by Robert McRae in 2009. Sagoo also recorded two of the three lowest single round scores in program history.
"It feels good to play consistent over the three rounds," said Sagoo. "More important is that I'm happy for our team. We've been playing well and our performance at this tournament showed what we are capable of. This performance should provide a confidence boost, both for me and for our team.
A native of London, England, Sagoo concluded the 54-hole tournament with 17 birdies, two eagles and just five bogeys. After suffering a bogey on the second hole in today's final round, he finished the front nine at 2-under. He posted a birdie on No. 15 then made a 40-foot left-to-right eagle putt on the par 5 16th hole to go to 6-under for the round.
The Gaels placed three golfers among the top 15 individuals. Including Sagoo's medalist performance, senior Jonathan De Los Reyes and sophomore Connor Blick concluded the tournament tied for 15th place overall at 3-under par 210.
After opening the tournament with a 2-over par 73, De Los Reyes showed his experience by lowering his scores in each of the following two rounds. He carded a 1-under par 70 in yesterday's afternoon round then fired a 4-under par 67 today.
San Diego’s Alex Chiarella (-12) posted runner-up honors, finishing five shots back while BYU’s Patrick Fishburn (-11) was third. Loyola Marymount’s Connor Campbell completed the West Coast Conference sweep of the top-four spots on the leaderboard at 10-under.