Mustang News Staff Report
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The Cal Poly golf team’s first NCAA regional qualifier in four years, Justin De Los Santos, was positioned nicely after the first two rounds of this weekend’s NCAA Regional held at the Farm’s Club in San Diego. The sophomore carded rounds of 75 and 71 on the par-72 course to put him within the top 20 in a 75-player field.
But a nine on De Los Santos’ opening hole on Saturday derailed what had been up to that point a solid individual performance.
He was never able to turn it around, finishing with a final round 84 to claim 61st place. Jon Rahm of Arizona State was the medalist with a score of 10-under-par while Oklahoma captured the team title with a combined score of 21-under-par.
The individual champion of the Big West Conference Tournament held at San Luis Obispo Country Club, De Los Santos was the lone Mustang to qualify for one of the six NCAA Regionals. In addition to capturing the conference title, the product of Chaminade College Prep was named the Big West Conference Freshman of the Year last season. His 72.8 scoring average, as well as his 10 rounds of par or better, led Cal Poly for the 2014-15 season.
On Friday, De Los Santos started similarly with a seven on his first hole. But the sophomore righted the ship in his second round with five birdies, three of them consecutive. A sample of the steady play the young player has come to epitomize in his first two years at Cal Poly. After the one-under round on day two of the tournament, De Los Santos had sneaked into a tie for 19th place.
Saturday was a different story.
The inflated final round score can be attributed to spotty play early on. After a nine on his first hole of the day, De Los Santos went on to finish his fist eight holes at a score of thirteen over par. Despite his one under performance for the remaining ten holes, De Los Santos simply could not make up for all the lost shots.
The last Mustang to play in a NCAA Regional was Geoff Gonzales in 2011. Gonzales qualified previously but made it to the NCAA Finals in 2011. Something the talented De Los Santos will surely emulate for the 2015-16 season.