ELK GROVE, Calif., March 4 – Southern Utah’s Tim Leonard shot 68 on Tuesday, tied for the lowest round of the tournament, to move up 10 spots and finish tied for sixth at the Sacramento State Invitational and lead SUU to a tie for third in the team competition.
The Thunderbirds had three players among the top-12 in the tournament, with Nic Booth finishing tied for sixth while Sammy Cole was 12th.
Leonard was tied for fourth after firing a first-round 70 on Monday but a 77 in the afternoon round dropped him to 16th heading into the final round. The 68 on Tuesday pushed him back up to sixth where he was tied with Chico State’s Justin Wiles at 1-under par 215, three shots off the pace of Northern Colorado’s Ben Kreuger (who had the other round of 68) and Loyola Marymount’s Lawrence Ree, who tied for the individual championship at 4-under par 212.
Booth improved each round at the tournament. After opening with a 74 he shot 71 in Monday’s afternoon round and finished with 71 on Tuesday to come in at 1-over par 217. Cole, who was tied for fifth place after two rounds of 77 on Monday, shot 75 on Tuesday for a final tally of 219 and a share of 12th place.
SUU’s Jake Holt also improved in every round, coming back from an opening 77 with a 76 in the second round and a 72 on Tuesday to finish 35th at 9-over 225. Jameson Keiley (81-90-87) rounded out the SUU team scorers with a 68th place finish at 258. SUU’s Braxton Williams (80-84-77), who was competing as an individual, finished 65th at 241.
As a team the Thunderbirds shot their best round of the tournament, 286, on Tuesday after rounds of 293 and 297 on Monday, to move up two spots and finish tied with Loyola Marymount in third at 876. SUU was 10 shots off the pace of team champ Northern Colorado and three behind second place Chico State.
The Thunderbirds finished three shots ahead of fifth place Nevada (879). Host Sacramento State was sixth at 24-over par 888, followed by Pacific (889), Boise State (890), British Columbia (898), Weber State (901), Nebraska-Omaha (914) and Cal State Bakersfield (944).