No. 24 UCLA men’s golf played its final event of the regular season this weekend in El Macero, California, and the weather decided it was not going to cooperate with the competitors.
“1-under ended up winning the tournament, you never really see that in a college event,” said junior Patrick Murphy.
Murphy finished in the top 10, tying for seventh place at 6-over par. Murphy also held the best overall score on par-5 holes, shooting a combined 6-under for the tournament.
“I would hit less than driver off of the tee,” Murphy said. “And on the downwind holes I really tried and take advantage by trying to rip a drive all the way down and go for the green in two.”
UCLA finished in the top 10 for the sixth time this season with a second place finish out of 13 teams. The Bruins shot 25-over par with a score of 889, 10 strokes back of unranked Nevada.
“(The course) played really difficult this week. It was windy; greens and conditions were very tough,” said coach Derek Freeman. “It’s a nice challenge. As a coach I want to see how our guys handle those situations because we’re going to see that in postseason.”
UCLA shot 8-over par in the first and third rounds, and posted their worst score of 9-over par in the second round.
“We had a poor second round,” Freeman said. “We dug ourselves too big a hole to fight back today.”
Four Bruins were able to claim spots in the top 12. Freshman Devon Bling led the charge for UCLA, tying for fifth overall and shooting 5-over par for the weekend.
“I started to get the distances correct even with the wind blowing upwards of 20 (miles) to 25 miles per hour late in the afternoon,” Bling said. “I made the correct call on the distance of the second shot whether it was a crosswind, and I guessed the yardage a lot better today than the past couple of days.”
UCLA will begin postseason play April 23 at the Pac-12 Tournament at the Rolling Hills Country Club, which is located in Los Angeles, just 28 miles from the UCLA campus.
“The lack of travel is helpful,” Freeman said. “Our guys are always going to feel comfortable when it’s close to campus in California because we spend so much time there.”