April 17, 2007
Lompoc, CA (April 17) - Loyola Marymount sophomore Brian Locke repeated as individual champion of the West Coast Conference, defending his crown with a one-under 215 at the 2007 WCC Championships at La Purisima Golf Course on Tuesday. He becomes the first repeat champion in WCC history as he won by two strokes over teammate Jason D'Amore, who finished with a one-over 217.
The Lions one-two punch of Locke and D'Amore led the Lions to a third place finish overall as they concluded with a three-round 901. They trailed WCC Champion Pepperdine by eight strokes and second place San Diego by three strokes. The Lions shot a 301 on the final day, third best behind USD and the Waves on the day.
"As I have said for a long time, these guys are my one-two punch," said Head Coach Alex Galvan. "They go back and forth from one and two depending on the day. They are clearly the two best golfers LMU has ever seen. I am not surprised at all they finished one and two. I was actually hoping for a tie."
After hitting a 77 in the first round, Locke roared back to claim the title with scores of 69 in the final two rounds. He was the only golfer to post a round under 71 and he did it twice.
"What Locke does on the golf course does not surprise me, ever," said Galvan. "Nothing bothers him, nothing. He knew after the first round what he had to do. Our assistant coach (Mike) Gaines said to him before the second round `you know what you have to do don't you,' and Brian rushed by him to start his second round saying, `I know what to do.' And he did it."
Battling the tough La Purisima championship course that played 7,105 yards and the tough Southern California winds, Locke had nine bogies with just three birdies through the first 27 holes. However, his last 27 were a complete reversal with nine birdies and two bogies. He led the entire field with 12 birdies and was best in the field on par-4 scoring at three-under par.
As for D'Amore, he stuck with his patience and was second in the field of 40 with 42 holes at par. He also led the field on par-5 holes, going three-under for the tournament. He added five birdies to his total as he posted his best finish in his three years.
"Jason stuck to his game plan better than anyone I seen," said Galvan. "He is very patient out there, both of them are. Patience is critical on a course that plays tough like this with these windy conditions."
Both Locke and D'Amore along with the rest of the Lions played in front of the largest fan base of any of the teams at the championships. The fan support gave the Lions an edge all season, according to Galvan.
"I want to thank all of the alums, all of my teammates, parents and families who came out and supported us this week and every week this season," said Galvan. "The support means a lot to me and to the players. It was by far the biggest support of any of the teams here at the WCCs."
The team effort helped the Lions finished three strokes ahead of Saint Mary's, five ahead of both San Francisco and Santa Clara, 20 better than seventh place Gonzaga and 29 better than Portland.