Returning freshman Mark Stephens closed out his stay at the ninth annual Sacramento State Invitational with a final round 70, finishing in a tie for 30th and leading a group of four UC Davis individuals at the Valley Hi Country Club in Elk Grove on Tuesday.
Stephens’ 2-under performance on the day boosted him up 20 spots on the leaderboard from the end of Monday’s play, finishing at 3-over for the week thanks to birdies on the 18th, fourth, sixth, and eighth, holes. The 70 tied his career low, set in the third round at last year’s Marquette Intercollegiate at Erin Hills and tied in the second round at The Prestige.
His final total of 219 was just two shots shy of his collegiate best of 217 at the Marquette event where he finished in a tie for 17th.
Returning sophomore Daniel Kim wrapped up his tournament with an even-par 72 on Tuesday, making a jump of 10 spots into a tie for 50th at 7-over for the week. Returning freshman Michael Shaw, who competed in only one event in 2019-20, posted a final round 74 to finish in a tie for 54th at 8-over thanks, in part, to a career best 72 in the second round. He finished at a career low 224.
Returning junior Shane Muldowney wrapped up the UC Davis group in 75th at 14-over following a final-round 77 on Tuesday.
All were chasing individual medalist Riley Lewis of Loyola Marymount, who finished at 11-under for the tournament following a 3-under 69 on Tuesday to win the event by one shot.
UC Davis returns to team competition next week in Southern California, heading to Chula Vista to compete at the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic hosted by San Diego State on March 8-10.
Aggies finish third thanks to four in the top 25
Sophomore and Chico native Jackie Lucena built upon her record finish on day one with a bogey-free final round of 69 to lead a group of four UC Davis players among the top 25, powering the Aggies to a third-place tie at their own Gunrock Invitational on Tuesday afternoon at the Del Paso Country Club in Sacramento.
UC Davis tied for the eighth-lowest round in tournament history with its 285 on Tuesday, finishing the event with an 8-under 858 and matching San Jose State in the standings. The Aggies’ and Spartans’ total is tied for the third-lowest in tournament history, trailing only the two teams above them in this year’s standings.
Stanford dominated the field en route to a tournament-record 26-under 838, distancing themselves from second-place Sacramento State, which jumped three spots on the final leaderboard thanks to a single-round record 277 on Tuesday to finish with a 12-under 852.
In all, 14 of the top 20 lowest single rounds in the tournament’s history were set in this year’s event, as were 11 of the top 21 lowest team scores.
After setting the tournament’s single-round record to close out play on Monday, Lucena’s final round ranks tied for 19th in tournament history, giving her a 54-hole total of 210 was a career best, placing her in a tie for eighth at 6-under.
Lucena’s total bested her previous low of 216 at last year’s Westbrook Spring Invitational, where she finished tied for 32nd, is tied for the ninth lowest in the history of the Gunrock Invitational, and tied for the 12th lowest in school history. Tuesday marked Lucena’s second career top-10 finish after she ended a rain-shorted Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in a tie for fourth last season.
Finishing with three birdies over her final six holes, senior Madison Wood finished in a tie for 15th with a 1-under 215, breaking her previous collegiate best of 216 set at the 2018 Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate. The finish was her best since ending the 2019 Big West Conference championships in a tie for eighth.