Men’s golf finishes second at The Joust

Fifth-year senior Nicklaus Chiam led Cougars with a total score of 216 (+6).



Fifth-year Nicklaus Chiam watches drive down course off tee-box.

DAYLON HICKS, Evergreen reporter

In the second tournament of the 2020-21 season, the WSU men’s golf team finished second in The Joust at the Goose Creek Golf Club in Riverside, California. The two-day tournament was on Monday and Tuesday, consisting of three rounds of golf.

In the tournament, hosted by California Baptist University, the Cougars carded a final score of 877 (+37). WSU improved its score after each round, as they started the tournament with a first-round score of 301 (+21) and proceeded to put up scores of 292 (+12) and 284 (+4).

WSU was led by fifth-year senior Nicklaus Chiam, who posted a sixth-place finish for the Cougars while shooting 6-over-par; a 216 in three rounds of play.

Chiam also improved as the tournament went on. During the first round he shot a 74 (+4) and then scored a 71 (+1) in his final two rounds.

This was Chiam’s first top-10 finish as a member of the Cougar scoring lineup. He’s also posted a top-10 finish as an individual back in the 2017-18 season.

WSU’s second-place finish was the highest team finish outside of Pullman in seven seasons, which was last achieved by WSU at the Pacific Invitational back on Nov. 1, 2014.

Head coach Dustin White highlighted how the team played well through adversity.

“We took another step in the right direction this week,” White said. ” Our guys stood up to the challenge and played some gritty golf.”

Graduate student Eric Hagen and freshman Jaden Cantafio were tied for second-best placed Cougars, as they both finished in 16th, scoring a total of 221 throughout the two-day tournament.

Hagen ended the tournament strong, carding 3-under-par and collected five birdies in the third round to tie his teammate. That round of 67 (-3) was the lowest scoring individual round for WSU in the whole tournament.

Sophomore Pono Yanagi was fourth in the tournament for the Cougars, placing only one stroke behind Hagen and Cantaifo at 12-over-par.

Loyola Marymount was the only team ahead of WSU, as they took home the title with a final score of 852 (+12).

The team will now travel to Bandon, Oregon to play in the Idaho Vandal’s Bandon Dunes Championship at the Bandon Trails Golf Club from March 7-9. White said the team has some preparation to do before its next tournament.

“We’ll keep working on a few things and get back after it at Bandon Dunes in a couple of weeks,” White said.