Senior Blake Cannon would take home his second straight tournament victory for CSU at the William H. Tucker Intercollegiate after he shot a 2-under 70 in the third round to separate himself from the field and finish at a 6-under 210 for the tournament. CSU took second overall at a 9-over 873, 10 strokes behind the first place San Diego State Aztecs.
The “Tucker” is a prestigious tournament that has a long list of notable golfers who have won it, including Tiger Woods during his time at Stanford.
The UNM Championship Course (Par 72- 7555 yards) challenged players on day one when the winds kicked up to gusts of 30 mph during the second round. After CSU finished the first round at a 1-under 287, they would play through the tough conditions and post a 6-over 294, which was the third best score in the second round.
Day one ended with the Rams in second place at a 5-over 581, eight strokes behind the SDSU.
Cannon ended day one tied for first after he shot a 1-under 71 in the first round and posted a 3-under 69 in the windy second round. Cannon was the only player who shot in the 60’s during the second round. BYU’s Rhett Rasmussen and San Diego State’s P.J. Samiere were tied with Cannon at a 4-under 140 to end the first day.
Sophomore Jake Staiano was not too far off the lead with his 10th place 1-over 145 from the first 36-holes and junior Colton Yates was two strokes behind him in 20th at a 3-over 147. Junior Max Oelfke moved up from the Rams’ second team to be the fifth man for the Rams in this tournament and carded a 5-over 149 for 28th place and freshman A.J Ott rounded out the Rams team with a 13-over 157 for 81st place.
“Blake’s play was terrific as he was our rock again,” head coach Christian Newton said in a statement. “He has a chance to do something special tomorrow.”
Cannon would not miss that chance as the Rams played in the top pairing on Saturday. It was a three man race for the title after day one and Cannon’s 2-under 70 was two strokes better than Samiere’s even par 72 and Rasmussen’s 3-over 75.
The victory for Cannon was not only his second straight tournament win, but also his second win in his collegiate career.
One key to Cannon’s victory was his play on the par 3’s where he finished tied for a tournament best 2-under and he was also tied for third in birdies with 13 for the tournament.
“Today was just a great experience,” Cannon said. “I didn’t strike the ball as well this tournament…but I was still able to win. That is a huge confidence boost for me.”
As a team, the Rams stayed in second place after the final round when they shot a 4-over 292 to finish at 9-over 873 while the Aztecs won at 1-under 863. BYU finished third at a 14-over 878 with Washington (15-over 879), New Mexico (18-over 882) and Colorado (18-over 882) rounding out the top five. CSU finished ahead of three Mountain West squads and four Pac-12 teams in the tournament.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Newton said. “We took home some great wins this week from quality programs.”
The Rams now enter a two week lull, with their next tournament being the Paintbrush Intercollegiate on Oct. 11 at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo.
Collegian sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ajwrules44