FRESNO, Calif. - The Fresno State golf team enjoyed its success this past weekend at the Bite/Pacific Coast Intercollegiate so much, that the Bulldogs were the team that took the biggest bite out of 21-team, 105-player field tournament as they won the invitational 23 strokes under-par.
Senior Nick Watney (Dixon, Calif.) was the prize golfer to watch as he broke a 27-year-old course record with a 199 (67-64-68) and notched his fifth individual title of the season, 10th of his career, while carding his first career sub 200 stroke tournament.
Finishing 17-under-par, Watney bettered the course record by 10 strokes, as the former record was 209. Putting together his best three round performance of his career, he shot a 200 (67-66-67) at the University of San Diego Invitational as a sophomore.
However, a team effort was what propelled the Bulldogs to their first tournament win of the spring and third on the 2002-03 season.
'This was a huge and important tournament for us because the NCAA Tournament selection will be taking place shortly,' said head coach Mike Watney, who had led the Bulldogs to 23 NCAA appearances. 'In terms of some of the teams we competed against, especially those who are in our (Southwest) region, this was a great, great victory.
'We beat all the regional teams (Colorado State, UTEP, Denver, Hawai'i and Wyoming) at this tournament. This puts us in great shape coming down the home stretch.
'We had been in the doldrums of late but this team showed nice firepower over the weekend. We had solid play throughout the line up and everyone contributed. I'm especially thrilled by not only Nick's performance but by Ryan McDonald, who finished seven under par yesterday and was significant in our overall victory.
'I can't say enough about how everyone contributed. We had a very solid round today, especially by being back by seven or eight strokes after 11 holes. It's tough to stage this type of a comeback. It was a good tournament win for us.'
McDonald, who shot a 214 (67-70-77), finished tied for 18th while Ryan Carter tied for 24th with a score of 216 (73-71-72). Chad Spencer (74-73-73) and Jeremy Moreno (70-77-73) finished in a tie for 52nd with a score of 220.
The top 10 teams in the field were Fresno State (-23), UC Irvine (-21), UC Riverside (-19), UTEP (-16), Long Beach State (-8), Pacific (-6), California (-4), Colorado State (-1), Denver (+1) and Cal Poly (+4).
The bottom half were Santa Clara (+5), UC Santa Barbara (+7), Saint Mary's (+10), San Jose State (+12), San Francisco (+15), Hawai'i (+18), New Mexico State (+19), CS Northridge (+24), University of San Diego (+25), Wyoming (+31) and Utah State (+56).
Fresno State will look to take this momentum into this weekend's competition at the Cleveland Augusta State Invitational at the Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., April 5-6.