When Pacific coach Brandon Goethals gathered his team together last Sunday for a practice round prior to the Fresno State Lexus Classic at Sunnyside Country Club in Fresno, Calif., he found himself a little short.
Only four players were on hand to compete in the play-six, count-five format tournament.
The other two? Well, they were back at Harding Park in San Francisco, continuing their march forward in the San Francisco City Amateur Championship.
T.J. Bordeaux and Patrick Kucich won both their matches last weekend to advance to the event’s Elite Eight, which takes place March 12.
Kucich won his first round match, 3 and 2, against teammate Alex Edfort, while Bordeaux defeated Ryan Wilson, 2 up. Pacific’s fourth player to make the match play field, Alex Johnson lost, 1 up, to Timothy Nelson.
Then, while the Tigers were playing their practice round three hours south of San Francisco, Bordeaux and Kucich, both seniors, were continuing their charge to the quarterfinals. Bordeaux avenged Johnson’s loss by beating Nelson, 4 and 2, while Kucich turned back Anthony Machi, 1 up.
Now the two will vie for the title of first Pacific champion in the City Championship since Nick Ushijima in 2000.
“Those guys (Bordeaux and Kucich) are playing the best golf of their college careers right now,” Goethals said. “To have them hitting a stride like this in the City Championship and then going right into the rest of the spring season, well, it’s pretty ideal.”
And, it was the performance of the four who advanced to match play in San Francisco that carried the Tigers to a second-place showing behind San Diego State at the Lexus Classic.
Johnson led the way as he tied for first place with a 6-under-par 210 performance. Edfort finished T-16; Bordeaux T-23 and Kucich T-39.
That team showing only will better Pacific’s chances of earning an invitation into NCAA postseason – something the Tigers truly deserve this season.