Gonzalez Completes Play in NCAA National Championship
STILLWATER, Okla. -- Senior golfer Geoff Gonzalez, who battled through a pair of nine-over-par rounds on the first two days of competition in the NCAA Division I National Championship at Karsten Creek, carded a final-round 85 Thursday afternoon.
Following rounds of 81 and 81, Gonzalez (Diablo, CA/Monte Vista HS) posted a 13-over-par total for a 31-over-par 247 total, tied for 146th place with Graham Baillargeon of North Carolina State. There were 156 golfers in the field.
Gonzalez, Cal Poly's first qualifier for the NCAA Division I National Championship, recorded two birdies in his first four holes Thursday -- his only birdies of the round -- and finished with three bogeys, a trio of double-bogeys and two triple-bogeys.
Gonzalez carded three bogeys, four double-bogeys and two birdies Tuesday and birdied three of his final five holes Wednesday, his scorecard also including three double-bogeys, a triple-bogey, three bogeys and three birdies. He was in 134th place after 18 holes and 141st after 36 holes.
The NCAA Colorado Regional individual qualifier with four birdies on his final four holes May 21 was seeded fourth among the six individuals in the national championship.
The field of 30 teams was cut to eight for match play Friday through Sunday.
UCLA will be the No. 1 seed in match play after shooting 8-over 872. Georgia Tech finished three shots back. Illinois, Oklahoma State, Georgia, Augusta State, Ohio State and Duke also advanced -- Duke matching the day's low score (293) to grab the eighth and final spot.
LSU senior John Peterson won the individual title at 5-under 211 (74-65-72). Peterson teed off at 8:10 a.m. CDT Thursday, but couldn't be declared the champion until UCLA freshman Patrick Cantlay missed a 15-foot eagle putt at about 7:30 p.m. CDT. Cantlay finished second at 4 under par.
Gonzalez finished his senior season with a 73.4 average. A seventh-place finish in the Big West Conference Championship last month, Gonzalez earned a berth in an NCAA regional for the third time in his career.
Gonzalez competed in the 2007 NCAA Division I West Regional at Arizona State's Karsten Golf Course in Tempe and finished tied for 53rd place with a four-under-par 212 total.
As a junior in 2009, Gonzalez carded a five-over-par 221 total and finished tied for 57th place in the NCAA Division I West Regional at the Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif.
His final-round 66 at the NCAA Colorado Regional two weeks ago lifted him into a fourth-place tie with a six-under-par 210 total, first among all individuals who were not on the top five finishing teams.
Gonzalez earned six top-10 finishes and 15 rounds of par or better this season, including five rounds in the 60s. He won the Folino Invitational hosted by Cal State Fullerton in Irvine on March 22 for his third career collegiate title.
His other career wins were at the Cal Poly Intercollegiate in March 2009 at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande, sharing the crown with Scott DeBorba of Sacramento State, and the Anteater Invitational four days later at the El Niguel Country Club.
Gonzalez finished with 19 career rounds in the 60s and 53 career rounds of par or better at Cal Poly, placing in the top 10 a total of 17 times. Gonzalez's career average of 72.84 strokes per round is second to Mustang career record-holder Travis Bertoni (71.70).
His 65 at the 2007 Big West Conference Championships is his Mustang best and one off the school record and Gonzalez also has a trio of 66s to his credit, including his final round at the Colorado regional which featured four bogeys and 10 birdies along with four pars.
Gonzalez averaged 72.1 strokes per round as a junior in 2009, No. 3 on Cal Poly's all-time list, while his 72.2 average as a freshman in 2007 is No. 5 on the same list. This year's 73.4 average is No. 9.
At the 2011 Big West Conference Championships, Gonzalez carded rounds of 70, 72 and 80 for a six-over-par 222 total at the Mission Viejo Country Club. He is a three-time All-Big West first-team selection.