Men’s golf places second at Big Sky Conference Championship

Aaron Asmus

The Sacramento State men’s golf team parlayed three days of consistent play up and down their lineup into a second place finish at the Big Sky Conference Championship, which concluded today.

Sac State remained in second place throughout the tournament, but saw their chances of catching the leader, the Unviersity of Idaho, diminish after each round. They were down two strokes after day one, 12 strokes after day two, and eventually finished 21 strokes behind Idaho for second place.

It took a record-setting performance from Idaho and the eventual medalist, Jared du Toit, who is ranked 94th in the country, to create such a large gap between them and Sac State. Du Toit’s overall score of 208 tied a Greenhorn Creek record, and the team’s score of 276 in the third round set a Big Sky Conference Championship record.

While catching Idaho on day three was next to impossible for the Hornets, they had their best performance by far during that round, shooting 10 and 12 strokes better than their previous two rounds. That strong performance locked up second place for the Hornets as they beat third-place Southern Utah University by eight strokes.

Senior Luke Kristo led the Hornets with a strong performance on days two and three and finished tied for third after shooting 75-70-71-216 for the tournament. This was Kristo’s third time finishing in the top 10 this season and his second finish within the top five.

Sophomore Aaron Beverly capped off an impressive spring semester with a fifth-place finish after shooting 74-73-70-217 for the tournament. This was the fourth top 10 finish in seven spring semester tournaments for Beverly, and only once did he finish outside the top 20.

Junior Taylor Knoll also continued his excellent play during the spring semester and finished tied for 11th overall. Knoll shot a 76-76-70-222 for the tournament. Knoll was the most consistent Hornets player during the spring semester with three top 10 finishes, six finishes in the top 20, and his lowest finish of the semester being a tie or 26th at the Sacramento State Invitational.

Freshman Zach Liberatore got his first opportunity to compete as part of the five traveling players and not just as an individual, and he performed well at the biggest tournament of the year for the Hornets. Liberatore shot a 79-76-74-229 and tied for 19th overall. His 19th place finish was the best of his career.

Senior Riley Hayfield rounded out the roster for the Hornets and looked poised for a big finish after being tied for the lead after day one with a score of 72. Hayfield was not able to keep the momentum going for the tournament and ended up shooting a 72-80-81-233 for the tournament and finished tied for 27th place.