UNIVERSITY PALACE, Wash. (April 15, 2008)--The University of San Diego golf team, under the direction of 5th-year head coach Tim Mickelson, won the 2008 West Coast Conference Championship after turning in a final round team score of 308 to finish the three-round tournament at 888. The team title is USD's first for the golf program since joining the WCC back in 1980.
Last year Mickelson guided his team to a 2nd place finish. Playing at the Chambers Bay Golf Course (par 72 - 7,178 yards) just outside of Tacoma, Washington, the Toreros held off both Pepperdine, the league's perennial power and 2007 champion, and Saint Mary's College. Both schools shot final day team scores of 301 and finished four strokes back at 892.
"I could not be happier or more proud of these guys," said head coach Tim Mickelson. "We set some lofty goals back in January and they have reached the two they set. There is one more goal we have set and that one stays within the team until we reach it. They played great under very difficult conditions and they are starting to play to the level I expected from them this year. Thankfully they bought into the system and now they are rewarded with an extension to the season. There is more excitement to come this year, so watch out!"
USD junior Jake Yount (Danville, CA; De La Salle HS) earned medalist honors after winning a sudden death playoff on the second hole against Chadd Cocco of Saint Mary's. Both players tied at 218 after three rounds with Cocco carding a final day 71 to Yount's 74.
But in the playoff, after both players pared the par-4 1st hole, Yount scored a 4 on the par-3, 176 yard 17th hole, while Cocco doubled it.
Yount's scores for the three rounds were 73-71-74, while Cocco matched with his 74-73-71. Yount becomes USD's first WCC golf champion since Patrick Hawkins claimed the title back in 1998. By winning the WCC title, the Toreros earn the league's automatic bid into the 2008 NCAA Championships (May 15-17; site tbd). This will be USD's second trip to the NCAA's in the last three seasons (2006).
Besides Yount, the Toreros received solid play this week from junior Darrin Hall (Golden, CO) who led the event after two rounds. Hall shot a final day score of 77 to finish in a tie for 3rd place overall, and just one stroke back of Yount and Cocco, with a total of 219 (66-76-77). His first day 66 set a new course record for Chambers Bay GC. Hall was joined by USF's Chris Cunningham who carded three straight 73's for his 219 total. USD sophomore Dale Smith (North Yorkshire, England) finished tied for 11th overall at 224 (71-72-81). First year junior Blake Trimble (Rancho Santa Fe, CA; Torrey Pines HS) birdied three holes on the back nine today to finish with a 76 and finish in a tie for 19th overall at 227 (76-75-76). Freshman Jason Shano (Scottsdale, AZ) finished in a tie for 34th at 236 (76-78-82).
Following USD, Pepperdine and Saint Mary's in the final team standings were Loyola Marymount at 903 (293-296-314), Portland at 905 (301-300-304), Santa Clara at 910 (294-303-313), San Francisco at 912 (300-307-305) and Gonzaga University at 922 (310-302-310).
Besides Yount earning Medalist honors, the All-WCC honors were announced. Tim Mickelson was tabbed the Tri-WCC Coach of the Year with Scott Hardy of SMC and Bill Winter of Portland. Yount was joined on the All-WCC First Team with junior Darrin Hall. Sophomore Dale Smith was tabbed All-WCC Honorable Mention.
View results for West Coast Conference Championship