ELK GROVE, Calif. – Junior Nathan Green, CSU Bakersfield's season scoring leader, continued to lead the Roadrunner men’s golf team on Monday as the squad opened the Sacramento State Invitational with two rounds at Valley Hi Country Club.
“Today was a long day,” said Meggan Bunker, Head Coach of the CSUB men’s team. “The last couple of days, the rain has made the course soggy and wet, making it hard to find embedded golf balls and tough to hit from thick rough. We had moments as a team throughout the day, but we plan to tighten it up and finish stronger tomorrow.”
Bunker went on to comment on one of her top student-athletes’ performances on Monday: “Warren played an excellent second round. I’m proud of him for fighting through the first round and grinding through his mental game in the second round and finishing strong. We look forward to playing great as a team tomorrow.”
Through the first nine holes of the first round, CSUB was led by freshman Dominick Hoover. The native of Monterey Bay, Calif. was sitting at two-over-par at the turn and was followed in one stroke succession by each of his four teammates. Senior Izzad Ibrahim and Green were at three- and four-over, respectively. Junior Garry Cai was at +5 while freshman Warren Miller was sitting at +6. As a team, the ‘Runners made the turn at 14-over-par and were 10th of 13 teams.
On the back nine, Hoover struggled a bit, but still managed to card the best first-round score for CSUB (79, +7). Green remained one stroke behind Hoover with a score of 80 while Cai was third for the ‘Runners with an 81. Ibrahim rounded out the scoring four with an 82 as CSUB recorded a total of 322 strokes (+34) and was tied for 10th of 13 teams after the first 18 holes.
After struggling with a first-round score of 86, Miller stormed back to lead the ‘Runners with a 74 in Round 2. The freshman’s low score came thanks to a pair of birdies as well as an eagle on Hole 8. Green was the only other ‘Runner to shoot in the 70’s in Round 2 as his 77 helped the native of Green River, Wyo. take a 36-hole lead for CSUB at 157 (+13). Hoover used one more stroke in the second round than in the first and wound up with an 80 to close out Monday’s action.
Miller came into the clubhouse one stroke behind fellow freshman Hoover with a two-round total of 160. Cai, a native of China, rounded out the CSUB scoring four with an 83 in the second round. The junior has a 36-hole total of 164 strokes while Ibrahim’s 87 in Round 2 brought his total up to 169. As a team, the ‘Runners tallied 314 strokes in Round 2, an improvement over the first round by eight strokes.
After Day 1’s action, Green is tied for 40th overall among 69 student-athletes. CSUB’s two-round total of 636 strokes (+60) placed the ‘Runners 12th out of 13 teams, but Bakersfield is just nine strokes away from 10th-place Austin Peay State.
Fellow Western Athletic Conference member Grand Canyon leads the team competition after the first day of action with a score of 574. UC Santa Barbara’s Brandon Bauman tops the individual leaderboard after rounds of 73 and 67 on Monday.
On Tuesday, CSUB and the rest of the field will finish up the Sacramento State Invitational with one final round of golf. The Roadrunners will begin to tee off at 7:45 a.m. at Valley Hi Country Club.