St. Mary's (Calif.) claims victory at WCC Championship
Thursday, April 18, 2013
St. Mary’s (Calif.) became the first men’s Division I team to punch its ticket into this year’s NCAA post-season when it captured the West Coast Conference Championship, April 17, at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.
In gaining the league’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA regionals, the Gaels survived a late charge from San Francisco and won its second consecutive WCC title for the first time in school history.
With a closing 4-over-par 292, St. Mary’s finished two strokes better than San Francisco while Brigham Young, San Diego and Gonzaga tied for third, eight shots back.
“I’ve said all season the best thing about this team is the depth,” said St. Mary’s coach Scott Hardy, now in his 12th season at the Gaels’ helm. “That certainly proved the case (at WCC Championship) as everyone contributed.”
Leading the way to the championship title for the Gaels were senior Ben Geyer and sophomore Jonathan De Los Reyes, both finishing at 1-over 217 and tying for seventh. Senior Mac McClung tied for 11th at 3 over, while junior Alex Bungert tied for 18th at 6 over. Junior Dalan Refiogiu placed 22nd at 8 over.
Geyer, McClung and De Los Reyes were WCC first-team selections with Geyer being tagged as the conference’s co-player of the year along with BYU’s Zac Blair.
“To think how far this program has come over the years is pretty amazing,” said Hardy, who was named WCC coach of the year for the seventh time. “I’m just proud to be a part of it and I hope St. Mary’s is just as proud.”
The Gaels will compete in one of six region championships, May 16-18, being staged around the country.
St. Mary’s, which entered the WCC No. 23 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, finished seventh in last year’s region championship, two spots shy of earning a trip to the NCAA finals.
“Last year we played well, just not well enough,” Hardy said of the team’s post-season performance. “Our goal this year was to again win conference, get to regionals, and get through to the finals. I think we have what it takes to do just that.”