The UCLA men’s golf team came out hotter than a newly forged golf club to start the Western Intercollegiate Championship Saturday, shooting its way to a lead over second-place California and the rest of the Pac-12-heavy field.
However, the Bruins didn’t have long to enjoy the lead. Their old rival, the nation’s top-ranked team, played at a blistering pace Sunday. The Golden Bears went 10-under par on the front nine to take a five-stroke lead – one they wouldn’t relinquish – to put the pressure back on the Bruins. With Cal pulling away, UCLA found itself trying to hold off Washington for second rather than challenging for the title in what very well could be a Pac-12 championship preview.
Seniors, Pontus Widegren and Pedro Figueiredo, made sure No. 5 UCLA would secure the runner-up spot. The two led the way for the Bruins from start to finish, sitting atop the leaderboard, in first and second place, respectively, heading into Sunday’s final round. Both had a lead at one point on Sunday, but it was Figueiredo that stayed hot the longest. He capped off the weekend by carding a final round 68 to finish with 204 (-6) to win the individual tournament title, while Widegren finished with a score of 209 (-1), good for a tie in fourth place.
“I’m pretty happy and pleased with the win,” Figueiredo said. “It’s always great to win and doing it at such a good tournament, at a great golf course that was in great shape and against some great players. I was very pleased to have gotten the job done.”
Freshman Lorens Chan and sophomore Jay Hwang, both competing as individuals, had strong first day performances as well, with Chan entering the final round in a tie for third and Hwang tied for seventh making it four Bruins in the top 10. Neither seriously challenged for the lead on Sunday, but both played well enough to record top-10 finishes, with Chan finishing tied with Widegren for fourth and Hwang ending up at one-over and tied for 10th place.
Redshirt sophomore Manav Shah and junior Anton Arboleda had solid showings, shooting 215 (+5) and 216 (+6), for the tournament to finish tied for 18th and tied 20th, respectively, while freshman Jonathan Garrick bounced back from a tough second round to end up at 220 (+10) and tied for 33rd. Sophomore Matt Pinizzotto started strong with an even-par 72 in the first round, but struggled down the stretch before finishing tied for 79th.
Compiled by Adam Colman, Bruin Sports contributor.