Oct. 31, 2006
Simi Valley, CA (Oct. 31) - For the first time since 1998-99 the Loyola Marymount men's golf team took home a regular season championship at a tournament they did not host. The Lions did it with a final round of 291 to earn a one-stroke edge over Cal Poly to claim the championship of the Bill Cullum Intercollegiate on Tuesday in Simi Valley at the Wood Ranch Golf Club.
The Lions finished with a final score of nine-over par at 873, edging out Cal Poly's 874. UC Santa Barbara took third at 880, Southern Utah in fourth at 895 and Portland in fifth at 895. The top four finishers all posted 291s on the day as the Lions one-stroke lead after two rounds held.
LMU won a pair of titles a year ago with a win at their own Carson Daly Invitational and at the West Coast Conference championships. Prior to the win in the WCCs, the Lions had not won a tournament they did not host since they claimed the Pilot Spring Invitational on March 2, 1999.
"This was a great team effort and a real nail-biter," said Head Coach Alex Galvan. "Wood Ranch is a very difficult course and the guys played very solid and consistent golf. It came down to the final holes and we held it together. I am really proud of them."
While the team title was close, sophomore Brian Locke left little doubt with his individual title. The second-year player from St. Bernard High School claimed his third career tournament win with a final three-round score of a nine-under 207. He won by seven strokes, posting a final round 68. It was his eighth top-five finish as he finished the tournament with a pair of eagles.
Locke finished the tournament going seven-under par on the par-5 holes, ranking tops among the 87 players. He was second on par-4 scoring, going one-under on the tournament while ranking in a tie for fifth on par-3 holes. He finished with 11 pars and 35 pars.
Following Locke for the Lions was junior Jason D'Amore with a two-over 218. He finished in a tie for 12th, hitting a 74 in the final round. The third-year player finished fourth in the field with 36 pars.
Junior Josh Escobedo, who led the field with 40 pars in three rounds, was third for the Lions and finished in a tie for 21st with a six-over 222. He shot a final round 72 to move up in the standings.
A big story for the Lions in the tournament, according to Galvan, was sophomore Joe Stassi. The second-year player from Manhattan Beach was in just his third tournament of his career and finished in a tie for 32nd. He posted a final round 77 to finish at 11-over par.
"Joe really showed some great things this week," said Galvan. "He is really only playing in his second tournament and he is a big reason we won this tournament. Our one-two punch of Jason and Brian did their thing, but Joe's play really put us over the top."
Sophomore Louie Bergna rounded out the Lions' scoring with a 242.
The Lions will head to the Hawaii Fall Intercollegiate on Nov. 6-8 in Kaneohe, HI.