Dixie State University men’s golf repeated as Pacific West Conference champions April 20 at Wigwam Golf Club in Litchfield Park, Arizona.
All five Trailblazer golfers finished in the top 15 of the 50-person field, finishing with a team score of 4-over par 868 — 15 shots in front of second place Brigham Young University-Hawaii (883). Dominican University (884) took third, California Baptist University (887) nabbed fourth, and University of Hawaii-Hilo rounded out the top five with 910 strokes.
“I am really proud of the way we played and how we managed the course overall,” head coach Brad Sutterfield said. “Our play as been consistent of late, and we’ve been close to putting it all together in a number of tournaments this spring season. We knew we were ready for the challenge this week, and we stepped up and finished the tournament.”
Freshman Compton Pikari led the way for DSU, shooting 1-under through the 54-hole tournament. Pikari birdied three of his final five holes of the tournament to catapult him into a second-place overall finish.
Pikari said he chose DSU because of the opportunity to play golf year-round even though he was recruited by numerous Division I schools.
Pikari, a freshman from Te Awamutu, New Zealand, graduated early and made the trip to the United States to play in tournaments. He was subsequently forced to sit out a year by the NCAA and was only awarded one year of athletic eligibility, an issue that is yet to be resolved.
Andrew Chu, also a freshman, was the next highest-placing Trailblazer with a fifth-place finish after shooting a 4-over 220. Sophomore Donny Hopoi shot 5-over, good enough for seventh place. Sophomore Dane Nelson (+6) finished in ninth, and senior Kenny You (+10) tied for 14th with 226 strokes.
Pikari, Chu, Hopoi and Nelson were named to the PacWest all-tournament team because of the top-10 individual finishes.
“We went in to the week with no real expectations,” said Nelson, a business administration major from Farmington. “We have all been playing some good golf as of late, but just haven’t really been able to put it all together. We did that this week.”
BYU-H sophomore Brent Grant blew away the rest of the field to win the individual championship as the Trailblazers nabbed their second straight PacWest crown.
The conference title clinches a spot in DSU’s eighth consecutive NCAA postseason appearance at the West/South Central Regional Championships in Las Cruces, New Mexico May 2.
“We are aiming to win [regionals],” said Hopoi, an accounting major from Aiea, Hawaii. “With the team we have, I think we can do it.”