Junior Jeff Cornez was one of five players to card 68 or better in the three-round tournament. (Photo: Kevin Hill)
The Cal State East Bay men's golf team capped the 2011 spring season with a seven-place showing at the CCAA Championships held at Hunter Ranch Golf Course in Paso Robles on April 18 and 19. The Pioneers combined for a 40-over-par 904 to finish 19 strokes ahead of seventh-place Cal State Dominguez Hills and nine strokes back of sixth-place UC San Diego. East Bay improved on last year's eighth-place finish by 14 strokes.
Junior Jeff Cornez led the Pioneers with a four-under 68 in the third round to finish in a tie for 17th in a field of 40 golfers. Cornez improved on his first round score by 10 strokes and his second round total by six strokes on the final day of the tournament to finish with a three-day total of 220 (+4). His final round 68 was East Bay's best individual round of the tournament and tied with two others for the second-best round on the final day, only Cal State Monterey Bay's John Jackson carded a better score in the third round with a five-under 67. Cornez also was one of just five individuals to post a single round score of 68 or lower during the tournament.
The Pioneers' day one leader, Nick Allen, carded a 78 in the final round to finish in 24th with a three-round score of 225 (+9). Wes Davis posted a 231 (+15) through three rounds to finish tied for 32nd, while Justin Tambunting improved on his first round score by four strokes to post a five-over 77 in the final round and finish in a tie for 35th.
AJ Warren rounded out the East Bay scoring in a tie with Tambunting with a 234 (+18), carding a third-round 76 to take four strokes off his first-round score.
Cal State Monterey Bay took home the team title, edging Chico State by just two strokes with an 18-under-par 846. The Otters also boasted the individual champion in Scott Yeakel who won a three-way playoff with teammate Oskar Nystrom and Chico State's Kyle Souza. The three all tied for first place through three rounds, each carding a six-under 210. Yeakel eventually took home the title after winning the three-hole playoff.
The Pioneers will lose three seniors this year but will return both of their top two CCAA Championships finishers in Cornez and Allen for the 2011-12 season, when East Bay will become eligible for both conference and national championships.