BEAUMONT, Calif. - After jumping out to a 12-shot lead on Saturday in ideal conditions, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's golf team grinded its way through cold, wind and rain on Sunday to extend its winning margin to 14 at the first SCIAC regular season championship at Tukwet Canyon Golf Club.
First-year Edward Wu, who shot a blistering 66 in his first career SCIAC round on Saturday, held on to win individual medalist honors by one stroke, finishing with a 145 after battling to a 79 on the second day. With a one-shot lead, Wu chipped to within a couple inches of the pin on the 18th to tap in for par and give him the one-shot victory.
Wu was the big story on Saturday, but another CMS first-year was the low scorer of the day on Sunday, as Will Parker was one of only two players in the field to shoot par in the tough conditions, jumping up 21 spots to earn a top-10 finish with a tie for ninth. Junior Ken Kong tied for third (70-77-147) and senior Austin Long was in seventh (73-76-149) to give CMS four top 10 finishers, with sophomore Rishi Bhat just outside of the top 10 in 12th place.
Long has been impressed with the performance of the CMS Class of 2023 so far this season, and feels that their impact bodes well for the team's success.
"They're very impressive," said Long. "We've got four freshmen who are very competitive, so I'm very excited about this team."
Parker impressively earned his par after a double-bogey on the first hole put him at +2. He quickly put that hole behind him, and birdied the second right away to get one of those shots back. He then birdied the par-five fourth to get back to even, and a birdie on the par-five 16th gave him a chance to come into the clubhouse in the red, but he ended up settling for an even par finish on a day when the back nine added rain to the cold and wind.
CMS will be back in action at the Collegiate Invitational in Jekyll Island, Georgia in three weeks, before competing in the second SCIAC tournament in early April. Long feels that the +14 start to the SCIAC season was.
"I think the first tournament is always very important in the spring," Long said. "I think the team came out, especially the freshmen, and performed really well. I'm happy with the results and looking forward to the rest of the season."
CMS Men's Golf Wins SCIAC #1 by 14 Strokes; Edward Wu Wins Individual Medalist Honors