After a rainy morning and a cloudy walk to the shotgun start, the sun broke and WWCC golfer Mike Ciez was ready to seize the day with the longest drive of his lead group off the No. 1 tee Monday.
Photo by Jeff Horner.
WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College’s Mike Ciez turned in a Fall Invitational-winning final round at Wine Valley Golf Course Monday.
Ciez followed Sunday’s opening-round 69 with an even-par 72 Monday to edge Spokane’s Cole Lorenzo by a stroke for the men’s individual honor.
The Warriors’ Kelsy Bigness paced the WWCC women’s effort with a third-place effort, seven strokes behind Spokane’s Cindy Pitkin’s tournament-winning 167.
Both the WWCC men and women finished second in the team competition behind the Sasquatch.
Spokane’s men finished with 569 total, followed by WWCC at 575, Southwestern Oregon 621 and Columbia Basin 664.
The Sasquatch women edged the Warriors by five strokes, 532-537, followed by Southwestern Oregon at 540. Columbia Basin fielded an incomplete team.
“While Mike (Ciez) won, it was in surprising style,” WWCC coach Mike Rostollan said. “His nearest competitor, who was playing in his threesome, Cole Lorenzo, holed out for an eagle two at 17 to take a two-stroke lead at that point.
“Cole proceeds to double-bogey 18, three-putting from 10 feet,” he said, “and Mike holes his 3-footer for birdie to win by one.”
Ciez shot 69-72—141, edging Lorenzo’s 68-74—142.
Ciez’s teammate Andrew Grove tied for fourth at 69-75—144, with Cole Sajonia coming in seventh at 74-71—145 and Brennon Lancaster eighth at 74-72—146.
On the women’s side, Pitkin’s 83-84—167 was followed by CBC’s Bree Hadler at 90-82—172 and Bigness at 85-89—174.
Warrior Sierra James was fourth at 87-90—177, with Kelsey Sage coming in 10th at 89-100—189.
“Kelsy proved the most consistent and looked confident in her first college tournament,” Rostollan said. “Her teammates had their difficulties, in some cases the massive Wine Valley bunkers and waste areas taking their toll, and couldn’t muster the games they needed today.”
On the team front, the men ”could only make up one of the seven strokes they needed to,” and “played really solid golf for two days,” Rostollan said. “Normally the scores we posted win NWAACC golf tournaments, but it just shows how tough Spokane will be to beat in the spring.”