Team Ethan: St. Mary's teammates win the NCGA Four-Ball
- NCGA photo
- NCGA photo

Just moments after their score officially posted, St. Mary’s teammates Ethan Ashbrook and Ethan Farnam received a text from Gaels head coach Scott Hardy.

“Talk about having a great day. Great playing!” the text from Hardy read.

On what was a great day for St. Mary’s golf, Ashbrook and Farnam were simply lights out. The two, who live together, would shoot a championship record 11-under 61 Sunday at Spyglass Hill to come in at 19-under 197, winning the annual NCGA Four-Ball Championship by five strokes over the runner-up tandem of University of San Francisco teammates Matthew Anderson and Tim Widing. The 61 came with the par-5 14th playing shorter due to a temporary green. Regardless, the two Ethans became unstoppable. Their score of 197 was just two off the 54-hole record held by 2016 winners Bobby Bucey and Brett Viboch.

“That score (61) is sick,” Anderson said afterwards. “When I saw that they posted 11-under, you just tip your cap.”

On the day, Ashbrook, a junior from Santa Maria, and Farnam, a senior from Crystal Lake, Illinois, would card 11 birdies. Helping them break away from the pack was a run of 10 birdies over their last 13 holes that led to a back nine 29. And they could’ve gone even lower. On the par-3 12th, Farnam missed an ace by just inches.

“It was at that point that we were like, ‘We got this,'”Farnam said. “That stretch of closing holes was ridiculous.”

In a testament that things can change, the two, who were making their championship debut, opened play with a 1-over 37 on the front nine that included zero birdie attempts from holes No.2 through No.9.

“Our first 10 holes were a nightmare,” Farnham said with a laugh. “But then we figured out our strategy.”

By the time it was over, the two carded only five bogeys over their 54 holes.

“We just started building on each others’ momentum,” Ashbrook said.

“We were really good taking the pressure off of one another,” Farnam said. “We’re both extremely negative when we do hit bad shots, but we’re both also really good at bouncing back.”

Along with coach Hardy, who won the event himself in 2005, Ashbrook and Farnam were also able to share a Mother’s Day win with family. On Saturday, Ashbrook’s mom came out to watch. Following the victory, he gave his mom a call. “She was like, ‘Good job!’ I told her happy Mother’s Day.”

Farnam, who called back east, relayed the victory message to his mom through his father. “My dad answered and said, ‘I knew it. I could feel it,'” Farnam said.

Anderson and Widing, who took a one-shot lead into the final round, finished at 202 after a 68. The St. Mary’s tandem of Michael Slesinski and Blake Hathcoat, who both previously competed on the Junior Tour of Northern California, placed third at 205 following a 70.

View results for NCGA Four-Ball

The NCGA Four-Ball Championship began in 1967 at Spyglass Hill golf course and has been played the Robert Trent Jones layout ever since. The 54-hole competition consists of two-man teams in which both players play their own ball and the lowest score of the two is counted on each hole.

18 holes qualifying four-ball stroke play. The championship proper will be 54 holes of four-ball stroke play, 18 holes per day. After 36 holes, the field is cut to 40 teams and ties. Both partners must meet eligibility requirements, holding a handicap index of 5.4 or less.

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