Velasquez Wins the 63rd Annual Western Intercollegiate
Santa Cruz, Calif. - Junior Diego Velasquez shot an even par 70 in the final 18 holes of the 63rd annual Western Intercollegiate in Santa Cruz, Calif. to hold on and win his second event of the 2008-09 season.
"That's some of the best golf I've ever seen Diego [Velasquez] play," Oregon State men's golf head coach Brian Watts said. "Every shot was at the flag and his yardages were on and he gave himself a lot of opportunities to make birdies. It's a huge win for him. This is the oldest collegiate tournament west of the Mississippi with a lot of past winners, hall of famers, and PGA tour winners, so he's in an elite group."
Velasquez started the third round on the seventh hole and quickly got his score into the red with an eagle on the par-5 ninth to go 2-under through three holes. It was even running until he hit a rough spot when he put up bogies on 16 and 17.
He bounced back quickly with a birdie on 18 to go 1-under through 12 holes before making the final turn to finish out the front nine. He made bogies on the first and fourth holes to go 1-over with two left to play.
It was a birdie on Velasquez's final hole, the par-5 sixth that cemented the victory of the season for him; the first coming at the Giustina Memorial Classic back in September. He finished three strokes ahead of Jack Newman of Michigan State and Derek Tolan of Colorado who both tied for second at 3-over par.
"Any time you win a collegiate event is great but to win two in the same season is awesome," Watts said. "It builds confidence for the rest of your team when you have a guy do that. This is the most important part of the season and for him [Velasquez] to win this late in the season with a couple of events left before going into the Pac-10 championships is great timing.
Velasquez is the first men's golfer to collect two event wins in a single season since Anthony Arvidson did it in the 1999-2000 season. Arvidson won the Northwest Classic in the fall of 1999 and the Oregon Duck Invitational in the spring of 2000.
"I carried through the momentum of yesterday's round to today. I knew I had to play solid golf, eliminate mistakes, keep the ball in play and be patient out there, because this is a tough course," said Velasquez, who had 10 birdies to go along with his eagle for 54 holes.
The Oregon State men's golf team improved by one spot from the end of round two to finish in sixth place with a total score of 888 (306-292-290). There were 18 teams competing at the event.
"We knew that we needed to come out in the second and third rounds and play some of the best golf we've played all year," Watts said. "Other than a couple of double bogies late in the third round for a couple of guys everyone hung in there and fought hard."
The University of Oregon won the event with a score of 865 (290-293-282) at 25-over.
There were three hole-in-ones during the event. Mercer University's Ryan Blackburn and Nick Brown of San Jose State both made hole-in-ones on the par-3, 141-yard, 15th hole in the final round while Michigan State's Graham Baillargeon sunk a hole-in-one on the par-3, 177-yard, 8th hole during the second round.
The Beavers head down to Arizona next week for their next event, the Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz. April 6-7.
"We'll get a couple of days of good practice in this week and we're really looking forward to heading down to Scottsdale to compete," Watts said. "We need to continue our solid play and keep preparing one tournament at a time for the Pac-10 championships."
1. Oregon, U. of (290-293-282) 865; t2. Colorado (283-302-288) 873; t2. Fresno State (278-301-294) 873; 4. Michigan State (290-297-287) 874; 5. California, U. of (293-304-288) 885; 6. Oregon State U. (306-292-290) 888; 7. Denver, U. of (294-295-304) 893; 8. Pacific, U of (294-307-307) 908; 9. Long Beach State (306-306-297) 909; 10. UC-Santa Barbara (294-311-305) 910; 11. Mercer University (291-311-309) 911; 12. San Jose State Univ. (301-310-302) 913; 13. St. Mary's-California (298-315-301) 914; 14. Nevada, Univ. of (295-310-310) 915; 15. Wyoming, U. of (303-319-307) 929; 16. Kansas, U. of (307-319-304) 930; 17. Santa Clara Univ. (320-321-316) 957; 18. Brown University (314-328-319) 961.
1. Diego Velasquez, Oregon State U. (74-66-70) 210; t2. Jack Newman, Michigan State (73-71-69) 213; t2. Derek Tolan, Colorado (69-77-67) 213; t4. Bhavik Patel, Fresno State (68-76-70) 214; t4. Andrew Vijarro, Oregon, U. (71-72-71) 214.
6. Oregon State U. (306-292-290) 888; - Other Individual Results