Fresno, Calif. - Finding his groove to close out the 2015 Nick Watney Invitational, senior SeungJae Maeng put together a career day on Tuesday afternoon as the fourth-year Tiger went seven-under, 64, to finish tied for 15th overall at the tournament. Taking on the par-71, 6,741 yard Fort Washington Country Club course, Maeng put on a show as he tied for the tournament's lowest round while carding a career-best 64 to close out the two-day, 54-hole, invitational.
Maeng's career day started with a bang as the senior caught fire early and never faultered in 18 holes around the course. Starting on hole 10, Maeng carded his first birdie of the day just three holes into his final round as he tallied a four on the par-5, 12th. After two pars kept his score steady at one-under, Maeng went on a scoring binge just before the turn as the senior posted birdies on 15, 17, and 18, while throwing in an eagle on the par-5, 16th, for good measure. Already six strokes under-par, Maeng added one last birdie on the 2nd, before cruising to the finish line with seven-straight pars. For Maeng, the seven-under, 64, pushed his two-day total to -3, as he shook off a slow first day to post his second-best career finish. Maeng's career best six-under showing came at the 2014 edition of the Nick Watney Invitational at the Sunnyside Country Club.
"SeungJae said yesterday that he was felling really good about his game and that he was really close to putting it all together," said head coach John Cook. "He was right as he played well today, made some putts, and I couldn't be more proud of him."
"As a whole, we are starting to play better as a team. We will definitely use the momentum of today's overall performance as we move forward, especially with our home Pacific Invitational in just a few weeks. This was definitely good for the whole team's confidence as we continue with our year. It was good for our seniors to play well and get going as Matt built up some good momentum as well with what he was able to do today."
With Maeng leading the charge, the Tigers put together their best team round of the year as Pacific posted an eight-under, 276. The team's round, while held up by Maeng's career day, was also bolstered by Matt Lee's best showing of the new year as the senior came through at three-under with a 68 to finish one-under for the tournament. The three-under pushed Lee into a tie for 24th overall after he carded a pair of +1, 72s, on the first day of play.
Overall, Saint Mary's took home the team title after the Gaels pulled away from the field with a winning score of 27-under par. Individually it was the Gaels' own Pavan Sagoo who took medalist honors at the invitational as the sophomore played his entire tournament in the 60s to finish 16-under par, four shots better than second place.
The Tigers will come home to host the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational at the end of the month as Pacific hosts 16 other teams from around the nation in a three-day event at the Stockton Golf and Country Club beginning on Oct. 29.