White Sands Intercollegiate: Muzzy Donohue propels Santa Clara to the win
22 Oct 2023
see also: Gareth Steyn Rankings
Gareth Steyn (Georgia State Men's Golf)
Muzzy Donohue, a graduate senior from St. Paul, Minn., saved his best round for last, and it was enough to propel Santa Clara to the team title at the White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational.
Donohue made five consecutive birdies on the back nine on his way to a 7-under-par 65 Sunday, helping the Broncos to finish 45 under par, four strokes ahead of North Texas and six ahead of St. Mary’s.
Santa Clara led after each of the three rounds in the 54-hole Invitational over the 7,099-yard par 72 Ocean Club Golf Course at Paradise Island, Bahamas, and had a different low scorer on each of the days.
Donohue led his team at 12 under for the event, but it was three strokes behind Gareth Steyn of Georgia State. The sophomore from Australia posted a final round of 65 to take medalist honors at 15 under par, earning a spot in the PGA TOUR’s 2024 Puerto Rico Open in March.
Jeff Kway, a freshman from La Mirada, Calif., helped the Santa Clara cause with a 66 on Sunday, his lowest score of the three rounds. Nolan Forsman, a graduate senior from Larchmont, N.Y., also counted with his 68, and J.P. Odland, a freshman from Tiburon, Calif, who led or tied for the top individual spot after the first two days, added a 70.
“I was happy with the way I was playing, but I made a couple of costly mistakes the first two days. Today, I did a better job of staying in the present,” said Donohue. “I was happy to be starting on hole 4 today because I knew that after I settled into the round, I would have some good birdie chances on the back nine.
“The views here are tough to beat,” continued Donohue. “It’s hard to be mad when you’re walking around this beautiful course, even after you make a bogey.” But Donohue didn’t have much to fuss about Sunday, as he only made one bogey.
“This was a full team effort and the best golf we’ve played in about 10 years,” said a happy Andrew Larkin, Santa Clara’s coach. “This is a first-class event. It felt like a TOUR event. It was a special experience, to be sure. The kids want to stay, but we have to get them back for classes.”
Southern Illinois finished fourth in the team standings at 25-under, and North Alabama and Jacksonville State were tied at 20-under. Georgia State was next at 16-under, while Wofford was at 6-under, and Wichita State was at 2-over.
There were 36 players who finished under par over the 54 holes, but none lower than Gareth, who went 67-69-65.
“It will be a dream come true to get a chance to play alongside the pros,” said the soft-spoken Aussie, who made six birdies in his first eight holes and went bogey-free for his round. “You’re lying to yourself if you say you’re not thinking about it while playing. It was a nerve-racking day.”
This was the fourth year for the annual golf tournament, which was previously played at the Ocean Club Golf Course in 2019, 2021, and 2022. Houston, Mississippi, and Duke are the past men's winners over the layout designed by past major champion Tom Weiskopf.