Baron Szeto (pictured) led the way in the Mustangs' top-three finish. Credit: Courtesy | Cal Poly Athletics, 2023

Cal Poly Men’s Golf finished third in the Big West Championship in La Quinta, California from Sunday, April 30 through Tuesday, May 2. 

The event was held at La Quinta Country Club, a 7,056-yard par-72 course with nine Big West teams competing for the championship.

Day One

The team started off the event on Sunday struggling to keep pace with the leaders.

Graduate Ben Quick led the Mustangs with a two-under-par 70 and finished the first round tied for seventh place. 

Quick’s day was highlighted by an eagle on the 516-yard par-5 fifth hole, while also scoring four birdies, a pair of bogeys and a double-bogey.

Sophomore Baron Szeto also recorded four birdies and ended the first round tied at 11th. 

Junior Joey Zambri and sophomore Jackson Parrish both finished with 74s, tying for 21st place, while senior Austin Liu finished the round with a 79 for 45th place. 

The Mustangs ended Sunday in fourth place with a four-person two-over-par 290 total. 

Cal State Fullerton, CSUN and Long Beach State were all knotted up in first place at seven-under-par 281 aggregates, nine shots ahead of Cal Poly at the end of Day one. 

Day Two

The Mustangs teed off with group two to begin round two on Monday and the team got off to a hot start, earning a spot at the top of the leaderboard with an eight-under-par total on the front nine. 

However, the afternoon winds soon picked up and Cal Poly couldn’t keep up the momentum on the back nine, falling back to fourth place by the end of round two. 

During the first nine holes, the Mustangs had 11 birdies, one eagle and five bogeys as the team moved under par and inched closer to first-place Long Beach State. 

On the back nine, though, the team struggled and went 11 over par with three birdies, eight bogeys and a trio of double-bogeys, completing the round right before play was suspended due to excessive winds.

The Mustangs again finished with a four-person 290 total on Monday and entered the final round nine shots behind Long Beach State’s 571 aggregate with a four-over-par 580 total. 

Individually, Quick finished with a 73 and sat in sixth place after round two. Parrish (74-71) and Szeto remained tied for 11th place (145 totals), while Zambri posted a 73 and finished tied for 15th (147 total). 

Liu completed the team’s scores with a 73, climbing 16 spots from the first-day leaderboard and finishing 29th (152 total) at the close of day two. 

Day Three

Cal Poly posted a solid 10-under-par four-person 278 total on the final day but it was not enough to overtake champion Long Beach State in the final round.

The team total ranks 12th on Cal Poly’s all-time scores for a single round, as the team finished in third place with an 858 total aggregate.

Szeto had a career-best round on the final day of play, finishing with a six-under-par 66, the best round by any of the 45 golfers in the last round, and ended the event in a tie for first place with a five-under-par 211 total. 

His round included six birdies and 12 pars, with four consecutive birdies on holes four through seven. For the event, he was also second in par-5 scoring at nine under par, and fourth in par-4 scoring at two over par.

Parrish posted a 68 on Tuesday, which was good for a three-under-par 213 total and a sixth-place finish. 

His final round included six birdies and a pair of bogeys. He was also first in par-3 scoring at three under par for the event. 

Quick completed his event with a 72 for a one-under-par 215 total and a tie for eighth place. 

Zambri’s final round of 73 left him in a tie for 20th place, finishing with a 220 total, and Austin Liu rounded out the Mustang squad in a 28th-place tie and a 224 total with a final round of 72.

Long Beach State ended the Big West Championship as the winner and claimed the automatic berth to the NCAA regionals with a 12-under-par 852 total. 

Cal State Fullerton came in second with a score of 10 under par.

The NCAA regional pairings and selections will be announced Wednesday at 10 a.m. on The Golf Channel. The Regionals are expected to begin on Monday, May 15.