SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Weber State men's golf team rallied coming home to overtake Sacramento State for a three-shot victory at the America Sky Golf Conference Championships on Wednesday at Troon North Golf Club.
The Wildcats entered the final round one shot back and still trailed as the last five groups came to the 18th hole of the 7,025-yard, par-71 Pinnacle Course layout at Troon. The Wildcats made up four shots on the final hole to take the championship by three strokes, defeating the Hornets 884 to 887. WSU shot a final-round-best 287, with the Hornets shooting 291.
"It's just an unbelievable finish for these guys," said WSU head coach Dave Kearl. "The finish that we had, with birdies on the final hole, and making four shots up on the final hole is very exciting."
Northern Colorado shot a 292 on the final day, overtaking Binghamton for third place at 899. Binghamton shot 908 for fourth place, while Utah Valley shot 911 for fifth place.
Weber State's Nick Despain was one of only two players under par on the day, shooting a tournament-best 68. The senior from Farr West, Utah dropped a 30-footer for birdie on the final hole to clinch the individual medalist honors. Despain made up four shots in the individual race as well, moving past Northern Colorado's Nick Bisogno. Despain finished at two-over-par 215, while Bisogno finished second at 217.
Despain made the turn with a one-over-par 36, offsetting a double-bogey on four and a bogey on eight, with birdies on holes three and five. From there, he caught fire, not recording a bogey over the final 10 holes, while eagling the par-five 11th hole and closing with birdies on 16 and 18.
D.J. Lantz of Hartford and Weber State's Alex Sutton finished in a tie for third overall at 219, while Mason Casper (Utah Valley), Steve Bidne (No. Colorado), and Jordan Weir (Sac State) all came in tied for fifth at 222.
Sutton recorded birdies at three and nine to fire a one-under-par 34 on the outward nine, and slipped with a double on 10 and a bogey on 13 to go two-over, before closing with birdies on 15 and 18 for an even-par 71 over the final 18 holes of the tournament.
WSU's Casey Halliday shot a final round 76 to finish 15th overall at 227, while Keaton Woodland used a final-round 73 to jump 10 spots into a tie for 17th with a 229. Kurt Owen shot 75 on Wednesday to tie for 26th at 231.
Despain and Sutton each earned All-Tournament honors for their performances over the three-day, 54-hole event.
"I'm so happy for Nick, Kurt and Keaton to cap their careers off with a championship," said Kearl. "When I recruited them, that was our goal. At the time, we were hoping that the America Sky would have an (automatic qualification for the NCAA regionals), but because of some setbacks, that wasn't the case. But, it still doesn't take anything away from the championship. This is something all five of these guys can look back on for the rest of their lives with fond memories. I'm just couldn't be happier for them."