The UC Riverside men’s Golf team opened its 2012-13 season last Monday and Tuesday morning at the 2nd Annual California State Intercollegiate. The event was hosted by La Verne in conjunction with the Southern California PGA Section at Diamond Valley Golf Club. The teams that participated at the event were Holy Names, Cal State University San Marcos, The Master’s College, Pt. Loma Nazarene, La Verne, Biola, Embry-Riddle, Arizona Christian and the University of California, Riverside.

The Highlanders started off the first round of Intercollegiate play with a slight lead against their opponents. After the first two rounds on Monday, Riverside shot its way to a 592 score (296-296) for a first place lead, ahead of Holy Names who shot 593 (285-308) for second place and CSU San Marcos with a score of 595 (295-300) for third place.

Headed into Tuesday’s final round of competition, the Highlanders led Holy Names by one stroke, CSU San Marcos by three, and The Master’s College by four. The slim lead for the Highlanders would not be sufficient for Riverside. UC Riverside would go on to shoot 299 in the final round as they dropped back into third place to conclude the CA Intercollegiate tournament Tuesday with a total three-round score of 891(296-296-299).

Riverside was led by Matt Fitzgerald with a third place finish out of 51 individuals with a combined score of 220 (74-72-74). Fitzgerald shot four-over-par total and finished behind Holy Names Shane Favinger 217 (68-73-76) and Biola player Joshua Mathis 218 (72-75-71). The Highlanders were just a stroke back of second-place The Master’s College (890), and eight shots behind the winner, Cal State San Marcos (883).

David Gazzolo shot a one-under-par 71 in the final round to move up into a tie for eighth place overall with a 222 (76-75-71), while BJ Doucett also tied for eighth with scores of 75-73-74 (222).

Jason Semthiti tied for 15th with a 224 (74-72-78) while Ryan Smith shot 230 (72-76-82) to tie for 25th. Bradley Fox was one stroke behind him, as he fired a 231 (73-78-80) to tie for 28th place, while Robbie Mamo and Roy Kim tied for 33rd and 35th respectively with scores of 235 and 236.

Coach Eric Riehle was asked about their finish at the CA State Intercollegiate and how they can prepare for the next tournament, “At the CA State we played well in the second round shooting 296 which was 14 shots lower than the team average due to very windy afternoon conditions. I wouldn’t say that we played worse in the last round, just San Marcos put together a good team round to pass us.” Coach Riehle continued,  “As a team we putted poorly for the entire event, and this will be our main focus in preparing for the Firestone Grill Invitational in two weeks.

Next up for the Highlanders is the Firestone Grill Invitational on Oct. 8-9 in Nipomo, CA.