The Nick Watney Invitational: Final Results

A few weeks ago on Oct. 1-2, we hosted the Nick Watney Invitational,  where players from men’s collegiate golf teams from all over the state competed in a 2-day, 54-hole tournament.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to host team, Fresno State for organizing this awesome event, as well as a thank you to everyone who came out to compete!

Congratulations to the individual winner, Joey Vrzich from the University of Nevada, as well as the team winner, the University of Nevada Men’s Golf Team!

Check out the final results using the button below.

 Joey Vrzich with Chad Spenser, coach from host school Fresno State.

The University of Nevada Men’s Golf Team with Chad Spenser, coach from host school Fresno State.

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The Nick Watney Invitational is here!

We’re proud to host the Nick Watney Invitational here at Dragonfly Golf Club! Read the article below to learn more about golfers from the tournament’s host, Fresno State!

Men’s Golf Preview: Nick Watney Invitational

Source: Fresno State Athletics

Fresno State Men’s Golf  Tournament No. 2

Tournament: Nick Watney Invitational
Format: Stroke play/54 holes/5-count-4 (36/Monday)
Host: Fresno State
Dates: Oct, 1-2
Golf Course: Dragonfly Golf Club
Location: Madera, Calif. (10 minutes outside of Fresno, Calif.)
Live scoring: Golfstat.comFresno State Lineup:
Kevin Huff
Michael Cliff
Lane Pulliam
Alex Lee
Tyler GardnerIndividuals:
Cody Riecks
Tommy Stephenson
Seldon Doyle
Griffin CooperCompeting Schools (12):
Fresno State – Host
Cal Poly
Sacramento State
UC Irvine
UC Riverside
UC Santa Barbara

Schedule of Events:
Monday, Oct. 1 – First & Second Rounds; Shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. PT
Tuesday, Oct. 2 – Final round; Shotgun start at 8:00 a.m. PT

Dragonfly Golf Club:
As the tournament has moved around the Fresno, Calif., area over the years, 2018’s host, Dragonfly Golf Club (located 10 minutes outside of Fresno, Calif.), is known for having giant oak trees, generous-sized rolling hybrid Bermuda fairways, large undulating bentgrass greens, five water hazards and nearly 100 bunkers.

Past Performers: 
Some of the past competitors in the Nick Watney Invitational (called the Fresno State Classic and Fresno State Lexus Classic in years past) that went on to compete on the PGA Tour include Tom Watson, Craig Stadler, longtime Fresno State head coach Mike Watney, Johnny Miller, Ray Leach, Bobby Clampett, Scott Simpson, Wille Wood, Billy Andred, Arron Oberholser, Mike Springer, Phil Mickelson, Tim Norris and Fresno State standout Nick Watney to name a few.

2017 Team Champion: BYU (865)
2017 Medalist: Peter Kuest, BYU


  • Fresno State will compete in its second tournament of the season; the Bulldogs opened 2018-19 at the Inverness Intercollegiate on Sept. 24 in Toledo, Ohio.
  • Alex LeeCody Riecks and Lane Pulliam all tied for 41st at the Inverness Intercollegiate, but Kevin Huffled the team tied for 17th place.
  • As a team, Fresno State finished 11th out of a 12-team field.
  • Two of the 12 teams that wil visit the Nick Watney Invitational are programs that rank in the Golfstat top 100 (last poll released released June 6, 2018). Those teams are returning champion BYU and Nevada.
  • BYU won the fourth annual Nick Watney Invitational on Oct. 2-3, 2017, edging out second place finisher San Francisco by two strokes. The Cougars bested a field of 16 with a 13-over-par 865 with Peter Kuest also finishing at the top of the leaderboard individually. Teammate Patrick Fishburn was not far behind Kuest, finishing tied for third. San Francisco carded a 15-over-par 867 to lock down second place with separation from the rest of the field.
  • Fresno State finished fifth in last year’s Nick Watney Invitational, led by Alex Lee and Justin Avery, who both finished tied for ninth place.
  • BYU, 2018 participant, owns the most tournament wins as a visiting contender at a Fresno State hosted men’s golf tournament – sporting 14 in its all-time history.
  • Fresno State has captured its home-hosted tournament crown six times (’73, ’84, ’90, ’94, ’01, ’02), with its last wins coming when Nick Watney led the team both seasons.
  • The tournament will be held for the 55th time this season after the inaugural Fresno State Classic was held in 1964 and the Nick Watney Invitational was held in the fall and spring of 2014.
  • Weather at the Nick Watney Invitational on Monday (High 90F, Low 61F) is forecasted to have 5 mph winds and an 11 percent chance of rain; Tuesday (High 78F, Low 60F) is slated to have 7 mph winds and a 60 percent chance of rain.

Current Individual History at the Nick Watney Invitational

Cody Riecks
2017 (R-Jr): T-23rd place, 76-73-72=221 (+8)
2015 (So.): T-10th place, 60-71-69=209 (-4)
2014 (Fr.): T-38th place, 70-78-77=225 (+9)

Alex Lee
2017 (Jr): T-9th place, 71-74-73=218 (+5)
2016 (So.): T-8th place, 69-71-72=212 (-1)
2015 (Fr.): T-44th place, 72-71-74=217 (+4)

Michael Cliff
2017 (Fr.): T-30th place, 73-75-75=223 (+10)

Kevin Huff
2017 (Fr.): T-58th place, 79-71-79=229 (+16)

Lane Pulliam
2017 (Fr.): T-70th, 74-74-74=222 (+9)

What’s Next for Fresno State:
Oct. 8-9: Alister MacKenzie Invitational
Fairfax, Calif. (Meadow Club)

Club Fitting Happening at Dragonfly!

Tiger Woods, Golf’s Dominant Force, Hoists a Trophy Once Again

Source: NY Times
By Karen Crouse

ATLANTA — Eighteen months ago, Tiger Woods needed help getting out of bed. Back injuries had derailed his golf career, and he was about to have his fourth operation, a last-resort effort to return to the links. His primary goal was to regain enough mobility to play with his two children, not against the best golfers in the world.

Yet on Sunday, Woods was fighting back tears on the final hole of the Tour Championship as he claimed his first victory in more than five years. The win completed one of the most remarkable comebacks in sports history and answered doubts about whether Woods could ever be himself again, the most dominant force golf has ever seen. He shared those doubts.

“I just can’t believe I pulled this off,” Woods, 42, said at the trophy presentation for his 80th PGA Tour win, two short of Sam Snead’s career record.

“Maybe I’ll keep chipping at that number,” Woods said later, “and maybe surpass it.”

He had flirted with victory several times this year, mounting thrilling late charges that enraptured galleries but ultimately fizzled. Finally, Woods triumphed in vintage form, owning the course at East Lake Golf Club from Day 1 with a performance that was equal parts magical and methodical.

Small slips on the back nine Sunday provided extra drama, but Woods would not be denied. He shot one over par for the day and 11 under for the win, beating the runner-up, Billy Horschel, by two strokes.

David L. Cook, a sports psychology consultant who has worked with hundreds of professional athletes, including PGA Tour golfers, called Woods “one of the most mentally tough golfers of all time.”

“He was raised by a Green Beret dad, and it was important to Tiger that he be known as mentally tough,” Cook said. “Many years went into that, and emotionally, he still had it all together today.”

Fans stampeded after Woods as he walked up the last fairway, pressing closer and closer, his security detail barely able to contain the frenzy. Woods had always drawn huge crowds, but this was extraordinary. At one point, a small smile crossed his face as he peeked at the human sea lapping at his heels.

“I didn’t want to get run over,” Woods said later with a laugh.

Most of the day, he followed his longtime routine, blocking out any fuss from the gallery, fixing a steely stare forward and marching toward the hole. That focus has always been part of his strength. But on Sunday, almost everything felt different, even as Woods regained a big piece of his past.

The fans at East Lake threw their voices behind him with a fervor that came across as much more affectionate than the “You da Man” support he received when he was clinically destroying fields.

Terry Bradley, who drove from Louisville, Ky., with his wife, Rachel, to follow Woods over the weekend, said he had heard fans shouting encouragement like “C’mon, kid,” as if Woods had shed years, and not just rust, since returning to competition.

“I thought about it, and it’s the comeback story,” Bradley said. “Because nobody thought he would make it back to this level. And the way he’s been humbled. He’s human.”

Woods had been troubled over the last decade not just by injuries, but also by embarrassing revelations about his sex life that led to divorce, caused sponsors to flee and smudged the clean-cut image he had cultivated even before he left Stanford to turn professional. He kept winning, though, racking up five victories in 2013 before his back failed him.

Roughly a month after his fourth operation, a spinal fusion, Woods was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence near his Florida home. The toxicology reports found five drugs in his system, including two powerful painkillers and sleep-inducing medication. Woods sought inpatient addiction treatment after that episode.

But when Woods talks about the turning point, he speaks of the fusion surgery, which gave him back an active life and his career. He returned to golf in December ranked No. 1,199 in the world, and rose to No. 21 by the start of the Tour Championship, which had a 30-man field that included 18 of the top 20 golfers.

Woods entered Sunday’s round with a three-stroke lead over his nearest challengers, Justin Rose, the world No. 1, and Rory McIlroy, a former No. 1, and with a 23-0 record when entering a final round leading by at least three strokes.

It is a measure of how dominant Woods was before the back operations that despite all the time he missed, he has now moved into a tie with Dustin Johnson for the most PGA Tour victories (19) among active players since the start of 2008.

The Tour Championship, the PGA Tour’s season finale, was Woods’s 18th official start in 2018, one more than he had made in the four previous years combined as he tried to relieve his debilitating pain.

“None of us will really know how deep and dark a rut he was in because he is such a private guy,” said Trevor Immelman, who in 2008 held off Woods to win the Masters.

On Sunday night, Woods alluded to how deep and dark it was. He remembered thinking: “Am I going to be able to sit, stand, walk, lay down without feeling the pain that I was in?”

And also: “This is how the rest of my life is going to be? This is going to be a tough rest of my life.”

After he finished on Sunday, Woods staged a hug-a-thon with other members of golf’s elite, including Rose, the winner of the FedEx Cup playoffs, and Justin Thomas. He also tightly embraced his caddie, Joe LaCava; his girlfriend, Erica Herman; and his agent, Mark Steinberg.

“The people who are close to me saw the struggles and what I was going through,” Woods said, “and some of the players that I’m pretty close to, they’ve really helped throughout this process and the last few years. Their support and some of those things that they said coming off that last green meant a lot to me.”

Woods also said “the fevered pitch” of the fan stampede behind him on the 18th fairway was something he had never experienced and would never forget.

“I guess it’s different now because the art of clapping is gone, right?” Woods said, smiling. “You can’t clap when you’ve got a cellphone in your hand, so people yell.”

At one point this year, Woods was asked in a news conference if a victory in 2018 would complete one of the greatest comebacks in all of sports.

It would not even be the greatest comeback in his sport, he answered, before delivering a history lesson on Ben Hogan’s return to the winner’s circle at the 1950 United States Open, 16 months after sustaining critical injuries when a Greyhound bus struck the car he was driving head-on.

Hogan won six of his nine majors after the crash. How many years, and major championship runs, does Woods realistically have left in him? That question may be driving the emotions exhibited by Woods’s fans this year.

“Eighteen months ago, we saw him being arrested,” Bradley, the fan from Kentucky, said. “Now he’s back and probably with three or four years left of being able to play at this level, and everyone wants to see him while we still can.”

Bill Pennington contributed reporting from New York.

Link to article: Click here

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