Wildcats earn their first tournament win


Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics

Mark Noonan After a nice Drive.

The Chico State Men’s Golf team was able to record its first tournament win of the season. The Wildcats traveled up north to Blaine, Washington to compete in the Western Washington Invitational which took place at the Loomis Trail golf club. Chico took first-place out of a nine-team field.

The first day of the tournament was cut short from two rounds to one because of weather conditions. There was a storm that came through and ended play abruptly. Due to this, the tournament was only two rounds in total.

The Wildcats ended with a winning score at 20-over par 596, which was enough for a two-stroke victory over runner-up Montanna State-Billings. Rounding out the top three was a three-way tie between Simon Fraser, University of Hawaii-Hilo and Cal State San Bernardino.

Coach Nick Green was proud of his team and enjoyed the win. 

“There’s not a lot better feeling than winning,” Green said. “It makes the trip home a little shorter.” 

Leading the champion Wildcats were junior Tyler Ashman who shot a 3-over par 147 grabbing a share of fourth individually and freshman Mark Noonan, who shot a 4-over par 148 getting a share of sixth. Both of them were able to get their first top-10 tournament finish in their Wildcat career. 

Ashman was very proud of his milestone.

Tyler Ashman Lining up his next shot. Photo courtesy of Chico State Athletics.

“[I] worked pretty hard this offseason when COVID happened and found something in my game and finally put it to show in a tournament,” Ashman said. 

The Wildcats shined on the second day as they started tied for third and were six strokes behind Hawaii-Hilo. Ashman was able to shoot a 2-under par 70, while Noonan was able to shoot a 71. This was Noonan’s career best while Ashman was able to get the second lowest round of his career.

When asked about the weather delay Mark Noonan believed he did better because of it.

“I think it helped just to have a little bit of rest,” Noonan said. “Those 36 hole days are long.”

While coach Nick Green was happy with the win, there’s still room for improvement for the Wildcats. 

“I would like to see us be a bit more consistent throughout the team,” Green said.

Chris Colla, who was coming off a second place individual finish at the Sonoma State Invitational, ended up tied for 14th but was consistent as he shot a 3-over par 75 both rounds. Colla also tied with Ashman for the most birdies for the Wildcats with five. 

Rounding out the Wildcats were Dakota Ochoa who tied for 22nd and Travis Miller who tied for 32nd individually.

Mikey Passaglia can be reached at [email protected] or @mikeypassaglia on Twitter.