Johnson, Rappleye lead Sac State men’s golf to victory

Marshall Hampson

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The Sacramento State men’s golf team and junior golfer Jake Johnson set school records and came away with a win Tuesday at the Purple and Red Invitational at Valley View Golf Club in Layton, Utah.

Johnson won the overall tournament while Sac State beat out Washington State University by one stroke and the other 14 teams who attended.

With a little last-round magic, Johnson led the team to set the team 54-hole record with a score of 857 &- beating the old record by three strokes. The Hornets were down by 10 strokes after the second round behind Washington State University.

Johnson shot a 65 and a 69 in the final two rounds to set the individual 54-hole school record with a 204. His three-round score of 70-65-69 beat the school record by five strokes.

“It’s a cool thing to have a piece of Sac State history that might stand up for a while. This was kind of a relief for me,” Johnson said. “During the summer, I put myself in contention about 4-5 times and never came out with a win. So being able to pull it off and play well in the third round was an awesome experience.”

Johnson was the last Hornet to win a tournament since Scott DeBorba in March of 2009. Valley View Golf Club might be several states away, but Johnson said he plays as if he is on a course back in Sacramento.

“There is just something about that course,” Johnson said. “Every hole on that course seems to be set up really well for me and I feel really comfortable because I played really well at that course last year.”

After beginning the last round, Johnson said after the birdie on the 11th hole, he felt had the tournament locked up.

“I started out with the lead at the start of the round and was even par through eight,” Johnson said. “I knew that is was giving a chance for everybody to get back in it and then I birdied the ninth, 10th and 11th hole to put me at 3-under. That’s when I knew that this was the week I could win it.”

Sac State has not won a tournament since 2009 at the Cal Poly Men’s Invitational and with a second place finish by Grant Rappleye at the Purple and Red Invitational, the men were able to get a victory.

“We all played well and we haven’t played well all year, so we were all wondering when it was all going to click,” Rappleye said. “That’s our main goal – just keep winning.”

Rappleye shot a 70-69-70-209 to beat out third place Tyson McFarland of Utah State University. With a score of 209, Rappleye is now tied for the second-best 54-hole score in school history.

Marshall Hampson can be reached at mhampson@statehornet.com