Vandal Men Run Away With Big Sky Golf Championship - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Vandal Men Run Away With Big Sky Golf Championship

Jared du Toit helped lead the Idaho Men's Golf team to a 2015 Big Sky Conference Crown. (Photo: UI) Jared du Toit helped lead the Idaho Men's Golf team to a 2015 Big Sky Conference Crown. (Photo: UI)

by Idaho Athletics

ANGELS CAMP, Calif. – The University of Idaho men's golf team emerged victorious by 21-strokes in the first Big Sky Conference Tournament since 2002. Wednesday's win marks the first men's golf conference championship since they won the Big West in 2000.

The Vandals occupied the top-three spots on the individual leaderboard en route to a stellar final-round performance. Idaho put together a three day score of 8-under, 856, breaking the Big Sky Tournament record by four shots.

"We've had a good season,'' head coach John Means said. “We played very well coming into the event. Our goal is to be able to play for the national championship. This is one of the steps we need to accomplish to get there and do that.”

Jared du Toit started the day with a 2-shot lead and never looked back. The sophomore from Kimberly, B.C., won the Big Sky Individual title by 5-shots (208) over teammate Aaron Cockerill (213). Freshman Daniel Sutton finished with a three-day total of 216.

“I hit a lot of quality shots and my bad shots weren't necessarily bad,” du Toit said. I did a good job of converting the chances that I did have. It was awesome today.”

Idaho's nearest competitor was Sacramento State who finished at 13-over, 877. Southern Utah finished in third, 29-shots behind the Vandals. Idaho's final round 12-under, 276, helped the team break the previous tournament low of 860, last recorded by Sacramento State in 1996.

“I think we were a little nervous the first day,” Means added. “But then the guys played the kind of golf they've been playing all year in the final two rounds to convincingly put a stamp on the Big Sky championship.''

du Toit tied the championship-course record with a 6-under, 66. His final round was highlighted by a 5-under stretch between holes 9-13. His eagle on the par-five ninth, followed by three consecutive birdies secured the top spot. Cockerill turned in a 3-under, 69, on Wednesday to sit alone in second after rounds of 72-72-69. Cockerill was one-over, through six holes but finished the rest of his day bogey-free at four-under. Sutton improved each day with rounds of 73-72-71 to shoot even-par, 216. He managed his game well the final 36-holes, only making four bogeys in addition to six birdies.

Rylee Iacolucci carded a final round 70 to jump into a tie for ninth, the fourth Vandal to shoot in red figures on Wednesday. Ryan Porch finished in a tie for 16th after rounds of 82-72-73.

Idaho will now move on to the NCAA Regional Championships, the selection show will be live on the Golf Channel Monday, May 4 during Morning Drive.

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