After a rough first round of the Big Sky Conference championship, the Idaho men’s golf team flipped a switch and recorded several commendable scores in rounds two and three, including a tournament best 5-under 67 from sophomore Enrique Marin in round three.
The Vandals finished with a team-total 923 to place seventh over the weekend at the Big Sky Conference championship tournament at Boulder Creek Golf Club in Boulder City, Nevada.
Sophomore Enrique Marin ended tied for eighth overall, carding a 6-over 221 through three rounds. Marin started sluggishly, shooting 5-over-par on the first nine on day one before a 6-over-par 10 on hole 18 put him at an 11-over-par 83 for the round, tied for 30th.
The play would not transition to the second and third rounds, as Marin knocked in four birdies on the back nine on day two to finish with a 1-under 71. With no bogeys and five birdies in round three, Marin was able to jump five spots in the standings, from 13th to eighth.
The lone senior for the Vandals, Ryan Porch, ended his Idaho career with an 11th place finish at the conference tournament. Porch began the tournament with a 6-over-par 78 and a 5-over-par 77 in rounds one and two before settling down for the final-18. In round three, Porch fired a 2-under-par 70, notching 14 straight even-or-under holes before the lone bogey on hole 15.
“I was extremely pleased with the finishes of both Ryan and Enrique,” head coach David Nuhn said in a news release. “Enrique just played a really, really good round of golf today.”
Despite both finishing tied for 32nd, Junior Hayden Ritter and sophomore Chris Carew received some conference tournament experience, experience that Nuhn said will assist the younger players next season.
Ritter began the tournament with a 12-over-par 84 in round one before knocking off eight strokes on day two, finishing the round with a 4-over-par 76 due to his 11 pars and three birdies. The final three holes of the tournament would hurt Ritter the worst, as he shot 6-over-par after finishing hole 15 at just 1-over-par.
Carew’s rounds had the same look as Ritter’s, as he would start the tournament off shooting in the low-80s before knocking his scores down to the high-70s.
Sacramento State won the tournament with an 874 as a team. The Hornets had three players finish in the top-five, including the first place medalist, Aaron Beverly. Beverly consistently posted scores in the low-70s to finish the tournament with a 1-under-par 215.
While the Vandals were unable to win their third-straight conference title, Nuhn said the tournament experience should inspire later success from the younger players.
“It just shows where we need to go,” Nuhn said. “Experience breeds success and success breeds confidence and confidence breeds more success. We’re working on it.”
Colton Clark can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @coltonclark95