Courtesy of UCR Athletics
Courtesy of UCR Athletics

The UC Riverside men’s golf team finished up their week at the Pacific Invitational held in Stockton, California and did it in style, moving up four spots on the final day into a tie for seventh place with Mountain West Conference member Nevada. At the beginning of the day, the Highlanders sat in 11th place, but were in striking distance of a number of opponents and capitalized on the opportunity.

The Highlanders were aided immensely by sophomore standout Matt Lutz, who finished the tournament in third place among individuals with a three-round total of 212 and one under par, just three shots back of eventual individual champion David Kim of UC Irvine. In the final round, the Highlanders shot a cumulative total of 294, which was good enough for the fifth best round of the day and more importantly allowed them to surge up the team leaderboard.

Outside of Lutz’s strong performance, other Highlanders battled hard and finished strong on the tournament. Brandon Tsujimoto (227, +14) had the Highlanders lowest score of the final round with a three under-par and a 68, allowing him to jump up 25 spots into a tie for 56th among individuals. Other scores included Sam Gillis (224, +11), who finished in a tie for 36th. Andrew Spillman followed Gillis with a score of 18 over-par and Pachara Sakulyong rounded out the Highlanders with a score of +26 which was good enough for 83rd overall.

Overall, it was a successful week for the men’s golf team, and it got even better when it was announced that Rick Todd had been named the new head coach for the program. Todd comes to UC Riverside after taking a brief hiatus from coaching after his last stint at the University of Texas El-Paso, where he served as head coach from 1999-2011 and managed to reach the NCAA West Regionals in three of his 12 years.

The closing of this tournament marked the end of the fall season for men’s golf as they will return to competition on February 8, 2016 at the Farms Intercollegiate competition in San Diego, California.