Experienced Bruins win West, seek double title
On a day when UCLA captured the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship, the Bruins men did pretty well, too.
A senior-laden UCLA squad edged a much younger New Mexico team by a stroke to win the NCAA West Regional May 22 at The Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort. Now UCLA will try to match its female counterparts and give the Bruins both national golf titles.
The Bruins put together a final-round, 6-over-par 294, which was good for a 1-over 865 team total and victory over New Mexico.
The two teams had battled for the top spot all tournament, with UCLA leading by one stroke after the first round and New Mexico leading by a shot after 36 holes.
In the end, UCLA came out on top thanks to a strong performance from senior Travis Johnson, who had rounds of 66-73-72 to share medalist honors with Arizona senior Chris Nallen (71-68-72) at 5-under 211. Nallen helped Arizona to a third-place finish with an 8-over 872 total, one shot ahead of fourth-place Arizona State. The top 10 teams advanced to the NCAA Division I Men’s Championship June 1-4.
Also for the Bruins, junior John Poucher finished sixth at 2-under 214, while senior John Merrick (220) tied for 27th, senior Roy Moon (222) tied for 35th and senior Steve Conway (223) tied for 46th.
While the Bruins were led by upperclassmen, New Mexico was led by two sophomores and a freshman. Sophomore Spencer Levin (214), who transferred from UCLA after last season, tied for sixth, while sophomore Jay Choi (217) tied for 13th and freshman Charlie Beljan (218) tied for 18th. Junior Jay Reynolds (222) tied for 33rd.
Rounding out the top 10 teams were BYU (881), Southern California (881), Toledo (882), California (882), Pepperdine (884) and Washington (885).