Saturday May 23 2009
Bauer Helps Spark Seawolves To NCAA Div. II Golf Crown
By: Mke Ray, Gold Country News Services
Ex-Colfax High golfer finishes 3rd as individual
For a school that’s golf program is in just its sixth year of existence, Sonoma State is making its fellow NCAA Div. II competitors sit up and take notice. In a rally of monumental proportions helped spark by 2007 Colfax High graduate Patrick Bauer, the Sonoma State men’s golf team came from nine strokes back in the final round to win the 2009 NCAA Division II Men’s Golf National Championship on Friday at Loomis Trail Golf Course in Blaine, Wash. “I tried to keep it really simple and told them no matter the outcome, I just wanted them to do their best,” said Sonoma State coach Val Verhunce in a post tournament interview. “That was all I could ask.” The Seawolves mounted a huge comeback on the back nine as while San Bernardino played the final nine holes at 10-over par the Seawolves were 3-over on the backside. SSU finally drew even on the final hole at 1179, forcing a playoff with the top four scores taken. The Seawolves edged the Coyotes 16-17 on the playoff hole, the 18th, to emerge with the trophy. Sonoma State was 7-over 291 for the final round, the second-best team score of the day behind the 4-over of Cal State Stanislaus. Junior Gene Webster, who led the championships after each of the first three rounds, had an opportunity to securethe championship for Cal State San Bernardino, but double-bogeyed the 18th hole, the second in his final three holes. For the third time in the tournament’s four rounds, Bauer, a sophomore, led the way. The former Falcon finished third individually with a score of 71-72-76-71—290 on the par-71 course. Two-time national player of the year Jarin Todd finished 12th at 72-76-73-73—294. Jarin’s brother, Janssen Todd, was 29th at 76-75-75-73—299. Spencer Shishido (37th, 74-76-77-74—301) and Ryan Carter (55th, 76-73-75-82—306) rounded out the Seawolves’ efforts. Bauer actually had a chance to give Sonoma State the championship in regulation and put himself in the medalist playoff, but his putt on No. 18 went just right of the hole. Columbus State (1182), Barry (1183) and Georgia College & State (1191) rounded out the top five. Started in 2004, the Sonoma State men’s golf team is in just its sixth season. The school previously captured national championships in women’s soccer (1990) and men’s soccer (2002). Gavin Smith of Indiana (Pa.) University birdied the first playoff hole to win a playoff against Ferris’ Kelbi Lee to claim individual medalist honors. Both players concluded 72 holes tied at 5-over par 289. Another ex-Colfax High golfer, Trevor Blair, helped Stanislaus State rally to finish in 6th place. Blair shot 82-75-77-73 over his four rounds.