Daniels, West Virginia - A historic season for the University of California San Diego men's golf team came to a close Wednesday with a 14th-place finish at the NCAA Division II Championships on the Cobb Course at the Resort at Glade Springs. It marked the program's best-ever performance at the DII nationals.
UC San Diego finished with an 888 (+24) over three rounds of stroke play on the par 72, 7,114-yard course located in the southern region of West Virginia. On a chilly and gusty Wednesday morning, the Tritons came in with a 304. They shot a 297 Monday and a 287 Tuesday.
For the 11th time in 13 events this season, junior Hayden Hui was the top finisher for the Tritons, tying for 28th with a 2 over 218. The PING All-West Region selection and All-California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) First Team performer logged rounds of 72, 75, and 71. Hui moved up 16 spots in the standings Wednesday.
Michael VanDerLaan of Florida Southern won the individual national championship, topping the 108-player field with a 9 under par 207. He shot 72-69-66 to win by two strokes over his nearest competitor.
The eight highest-placing teams from the stroke play segment now move on to quarterfinal medal play with the top four squads then competing in medal play semifinals, all on Thursday. The team national champion will be decided Friday in head-to-head medal play.
Advancing teams are Barry (-18), Lynn (-11), West Florida (-2), Florida Southern (+2), Trevecca Nazarene (+5), Arkansas Tech (+6), Cal State Monterey Bay (+9), and Lincoln Memorial (+10). Barry is the top-ranked team in the country, while Lynn is the defending national champion.
The Tritons were tied for 11th after Monday's round and fell two spots to 13th after Tuesday's round, just two strokes out of the eighth position.
Also helping lead UC San Diego to its historic finish were junior Justin Woo (San Diego/Torrey Pines HS) (t-35, 73-69-77--219), junior Adam Navigato (Solana Beach/Torrey Pines HS) (t-57, 77-68-78--223), junior Jacob Johnson (t-83, 77-75-78--230), and CCAA Freshman of the Year Elliot Bunyaviroch (t-89, 75-77-79--231). Navigato's 68 in the second round was the team's best during the tournament.
Hui and Bunyaviroch each holed an eagle during the event.
The Tritons were competing at the NCAA Division II Championships for the second time (15th in 2004). They punched their ticket to nationals by placing second of 20, a program-best, at the West/South Central Regional in Utah.