Bulldogs Cruise to Second; Tonkham and Fessler Take Top Two

March 10, 2013

By Elly Walker

BANDON DUNES, Calif.--The Fresno State men's golf team, determined to finish the Bandon Dunes Championship with their name on the leaderboard, fired three-over par to take the second place team title.

Bulldog leaders Troix Tonkham and Rufie Fessler took the individual first and second place titles, respectively, out of the 95-player tournament.

Tonkham, a freshman from Ventura, Calif., sat in second following day two, but took the lead by firing six-under par on the tournament. Tonkham (70-71-69--210) made 13 birdies throughout the tournament and lead by three strokes.

"Any win in college is good, but this win by Troix was spectacular," head coach Mike Watney said. "His composure for a freshman was amazing. We haven't had a freshman like that since Nick Watney."

Fessler, a senior from Bakersfield, Calf., took second place. Following his day two tie for seventh finish, Fessler powered through the third day and shot three-under par on the day to move him into the top three. Fessler (75-69-69--213) fired three-under par on the tournament and made 10 birdies.

"Rufie had a terrific tournament," Watney said.

This was both Bulldogs' best finish of the season. Tonkham's previous best finish was his tie for 10th at St. Mary's College Invitational in Sept. 2012. Fessler's previous best finish was at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational in Oct. 2012 where he tied for ninth place.

The Bulldogs shot 10-under on the day to sit six strokes ahead of No. 3 ranked Washington and 15 strokes ahead of No. 2 ranked UCLA.

"I told the guys that No. 3 ranked Washington would come back with a vengeance," Watney said. "They did, but we matched them and ended up beating them"

The 'Dogs brought their best performance of the tournament to the course during the final day by firing 10-under par. The Bulldogs' day three performance was also the 18-team field's best finish of the day.

On the last day of the tournament, the 'Dogs shot three-over par, 867 (301-288-278). Colorado took first place with two-under par, 862 (291-286-285).

"Troix and Rufie definitely carried the team, but we still had great support from the other guys," Watney said.

Johnny Partridge shot six-over par on the tournament and finished in a tie for 31st place following his day two tie for 55th place. Partridge (80-72-70--222) birdied five of the last six holes to finish two-under par (70).

Nate Jessup finished in a tie for 61st at 11-over par. Jessup (77-80-70--227) eagled on hole four and made three birdies to shot two-under par on the day, firing his best round of the tournament.

This was the second consecutive second place finish for the Bulldogs, following their host tournament, the Fresno State Lexus Classic on March 4-5, where they fired six-under par (1074).

"The team is continuing to improve," Watney said. "Ten under par on this course against this field is outstanding."