Mustang News Staff Report
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Heading into the final round of the Big West Conference Men’s Golf Championships on Tuesday morning, Cal Poly sophomore Justin De Los Santos was two shots off the lead in a tie for third place.
At the tournament held at the San Luis Obispo Country Club — a par 70, 6,677-yard course — De Los Santos carded a 70 in round one and a 73 in round two. He teed off earlier than most of the other leaders in the final round and came into the clubhouse with a one-under 69. De Los Santos sat in second place, two strokes behind the leader — UC Irvine’s Pete Fernandez — who had only completed 11 holes. It was looking grim for De Los Santos, who could only watch Fernandez finish his final six holes.
On hole 14, disaster struck for Fernandez.
On the par three, he carded a five, bringing him into a tie with De Los Santos for first place. Fernandez then carded another five on hole 16, a par four, putting De Los Santos in sole position of first place.
He would stay there, as Fernandez could only muster pars on the final two holes.
De Los Santos finished with a 54-hole total of 212, just two over par and one stroke ahead of Fernandez, who finished in second place.
Though a Cal Poly golfer was victorious in the individual competition, the Mustangs did not fare so well as a team.
Cal Poly freshman Jesse Yap and junior Cam Price finished in a tie for 15th, finishing with a 10-over 220.
Freshman Jimmy Castles and sophomore Mitch Martin rounded out the Cal Poly lineup. Castles finished in a tie for 31st, shooting a 17-over 227, while Martin ended tied for 36th with a 20-over 230.
The Mustangs finished in sixth place, 16 strokes behind champions UC Irvine.
With the win, De Los Santos becomes the second Cal Poly golfer to win the Big West individual tournament. He also earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional competition, which will be held on May 14-16 at six different locations across the nation.
The location of De Los Santos’ tournament will be announced on the NCAA selection show, which will be aired on The Golf Channel on Monday at 7 a.m.