Sophomore Andy Knight carded an even par 71 in the final round of the PCH Invitational to tie for first place and force a playoff for the individual championship. Knight was in fifth place after the first round in which he shot a five-over 76.
Matthew Shimizu of William Jessup shot a one-under par 70 on the first day, but fell back on the second day to record a 77. That left an opening for Knight who improved by five strokes to catch Shimizu despite windy and rainy conditions on the second day.
The playoff was held on the par-five ninth hole where both players had bogeyed earlier in the day. Shimizu improved by a stroke to make par, but Knight birdied to claim the first individual championship of his career.
“It was very exciting and there was lots of celebrating around the green,” said Westmont head coach Josh Ault. “Andy told me that the second round was the best ball striking round he had played. We have specific targets for each golfer based on a system we employ. He hit all of those targets.”
The men’s team finished third in the tournament with a two-round total of 633, 15 strokes back of William Jessup who won the event with a score of 618. Menlo was the second place finisher at 628. The Warriors finished ahead of Hope International (637), Oregon Tech (638), Simpson (650) and Cal Maritime (666).
“We were in third place after the first round,” reported Ault. “Overnight we talked about hope, truth and ferocity. We wanted to come out with those things and I thought the team gave it everything they could. At one point, we were only four back from the lead, but we could not close it out.”
Payton Hendricks was Westmont’s second finisher, tying for fifth in the event with a two-day total of 153. Danny Manginelli posted a 165 to finish 28th and Cooper Allen scored 168 to place 33rd.
In the women’s tournament, Westmont placed fourth with a score of 712 over two rounds. Menlo won the event with a total of 634 followed by Hope International (663) and Oregon Tech (670).
Kat Bevill, who played as an individual, led the Warriors with a two-round total of 171. She shot 86 in the first round and 85 in the second to take 14th place. Elizabeth Oloteo tied for 18th place with a score of 176 and Serena Jonay Garcia placed 20th with a score of 178. Sydnee Magpoc tied for 22nd with a total of 180 strokes.
“I’m proud of Kat and glad to have her back,” said Ault of the senior who was playing in her first tournament of the season. “The women’s team moved up from fifth to fourth on the second day. We were banged up and had two people sick. We weren’t at our best.”
The event brings an end to the fall tournaments. Westmont’s next scheduled outing is on February 27 and 28 when the Warriors will host the Westmont Invitational at Olivas Links Golf Course in Ventura.
Ron Smith is the sports information director at Westmont College.