Strong gusts mark Wildcat Classic; Chico State Men’s Golf finishes 5th


Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics

Chico State golfer Mike Stephens strikes a ball.

Harsh winds interrupted play at The Links at Rolling Hills golf course in Corning as the Wildcats finished fifth in their first home golf tournament since 2019. 

Head Coach Nick Green agreed that weather definitely impacted results, but also acknowledged that the team needed a stronger performance. Green expects better play in the next tournament.

“I think we could make better decisions,” Green said. “I saw some long faces, which is understandable. It’s difficult out here, but we could do a better job managing stuff.” 

Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics
Head coach Nick Green looks on at the Wildcat Classic in Corning.

The winds never ceased throughout the duration of the tournament, which took place on Oct. 11-12, and led to higher scores for almost every participant in the tournament. The winds actually canceled the second round of day one.

Defending Wildcat Classic champion Christopher Colla finished the individual competition a six-way tie for fourth at 6-over par.

The tournament was won by Stanislaus State, which had three of its team members in the Top 5. They finished at 21-over par, nine fewer than second-placed Western Washington at 30-over par.Academy of Art finished third at 42 over par.

Colla and fellow teammate Mike Stephens attributed the team’s rocky performance in part to the weather.

“I think the wind played everything for this tournament,” Stephens said. “The wind affected everything from driver to putter.” 

Stephens and freshman Mark Noonan tied for second among Chico State golfers and finished in a four-way tie for 15th. 

Colla discussed some steps he would like to take to improve upon his performance in the Wildcat Classic.

Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics
Christopher Colla looks on after hitting a ball.

“I think you always have to work on your short game,” Colla said. “As far as full swings, need to work on flighting the golf ball, seeing different shots, being willing to hit different clubs.”

The Wildcats have done well this fall semester, finishing their first two tournaments in third and first. They will look to bounce back in Monterey Bay at the Otter Invitational on Oct. 18-19. This will be their final golf tournament of the fall semester. Spring competitions will start in February 2022.

Connor McPherson can be reached at [email protected] or @theGOATmcphers1 on Twitter.