Sonoma State Men Rally to Claim NCAA Division II Regional Title in the Dark

Griffin Pace of Sonoma State claimed the individual title and the Seawolves were declared the team champion over Western Washington in a pre-determined tiebreaker when their playoff was halted by darkness after two holes in the 2023 NCAA Division II Men’s South Central/West Regional Championships at Foxtail Golf Club in Rohnert Park.

Sonoma State, coached by Val Verhunce, earned its second victory of the season by rallying from five spots down in the final round to finish atop the standings with a score of 294-290-283—867, three-over-par, while Western Washington equaled that by winding up at 295-288-284—867.

Chico State finished solo third with a score of 299-286-284—869, while Oklahoma Christian finished a 291-289-291—871 to tie for fourth with Simon Fraser, which wound up at 289-293-289—871.

The top five teams qualified for NCAA Division II Men’s National Championships later this month. Sonoma State advanced to the Nationals for the first time since 2021, and is seeking its third NCAA and the first since 2010.

Colorado Christian was sixth at 281-289-302—872, while Colorado State-Pueblo posted a score of 295-290-289—874 to tie for seventh with Western Texas A&M, which finished at 294-284-296—874, Western New Mexico, which wound up at 289-300-285—874, and Cameron, which came in at 302-288-291—881.

Stanislaus State was 12th at 289-300-297—886, followed in 13th by Cal State San Bernardino, which totaled 305-290-295—890, Cal State Monterey Bay in a tie for 15th at 295-303-297—895, while Holy Names of Oakland was 17th at 298-298-301—897, and Cal State San Marcos was 18th at 301-298-299—898.

Pace, a Sonoma State senior from Irvine, claimed his second victory this season by recording a score of 68-68-68—204, 12-under-par, followed by Jordan Lee of Western Washington at 71-69-67—207, Aidan Goodfellow of Simon Fraser at 72-68-71—211 and Mauricio Figueroa of Texas A&M at 72-70-70—212.

Naoki Easterday shot 74-73-66—213 to tie for fifth with Chico State teammate Tyler Ashman, who wound up at 72-70-71—213, and Liam Duncan of Colorado State-Pueblo, who finished at 72-70-71—213.

Jules Lavigne of Sonoma State totaled 73-70-71—214 to tie for eighth with Hamish Murray of Cameron, who shot 74-69-71—214, and Seth King of Western Washington, who came in at 71-72-71—214.

Simon Bjorken led Cal State Monterey at 71-73-72—216 to finish in a tie for 13th that included Nathan Jetton of Stanislaus State, who finished at 68-75-73—216, while Jason McElroy of Cal State San Marcos tied for 19th at 71-76-70—217, Luke Dugger of Holy Names tied for 22nd at 74-73-71—218, Jetty Sivongsay of Cal State San Bernardino tied for 36th at 77-72-72—221, Andy Yoon of Cal State Dominguez Hills tied for 66th at 74-78-74—226 and Xavier Coreno of Cal State East Bay tied for 82nd at 75-76-78—229.

Rounding out the scoring for team champion Sonoma State were Alec Padilla in a tie for 52nd at 77-76-71—224, Colin Huang in a tie for 76th at 76-79-73—228, and Aiden Oliver in a tie for 92nd at 82-76-75—233.

The NCAA Men’s Division II Championships will be played on May 22-26 at Avalon Lakes Grand Resort in Warren, Ohio.

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