Williams Sets New Husky Standard For Wins
March 18, 2012
BANDON, Ore. - Washington junior Chris Williams stands alone atop the Husky record books for career wins after running away from the rest of the field on Sunday for his fifth career victory. At the same time, the Huskies saw a comfortable lead whittle away and ended up tied with Long Beach State for the Bandon Dunes Championship team title.
Williams shot 204 (-9) over the three-day, 54-hole event at Bandon Trails Course to finish six shots better than runner up Kevin Lim of Long Beach State. The victory moved the All-American past Brock Mackenzie and Nick Taylor in the UW record books, who each had four wins during their illustrious All-American careers.
"It feels awesome," an elated Williams said about his record-setting win. "Playing after guys like Brock and Nick and walking in their footsteps is tremendous.
"I haven't been playing that great lately but to be able to get the win; it feels so good."
Williams was masterful in consecutive rounds, firing a 5-under 66 to break the course record 67 he established on Saturday. He took most of the suspense out of who would win the tournament by making the turn at -4, extending his already large with birdies on holes 6, 7 and 9. He shot par golf over the next eight holes before finishing off his bogey-free final round with a nifty birdie on the 18th hole.
"Chris was just spectacular," Head Coach Matt Thurmond said from Bandon Dunes Resort. "It was as good as I've ever seen him.
"It was great to see him play so well and see a few things he had been working on come together for him."
The win by Williams comes a year after teammate Charlie Hughes was the medalist in the 2011 version of the event.
Despite Williams' win, it was a muted celebration for the Huskies. Washington had a comfortable lead coming down the stretch, but two double-bogeys and two triple bogeys, coupled with Long Beach State's under par round erased UW's lead.
"We played really well all week until the end," lamented Thurmond. "You can't make doubles and triples at the end. Some of it was bad luck and some of it was just bad golf ... it just led us to blowing a huge lead."
Long Beach State was -1 during their final two holes and -5 for the day. Washington shot 287 (+2) and both teams ended at 857 (+5) overall.
Oregon was third at +19.
In all, three Huskies finished the tournament in the top-10 among the 85 player field. Cheng-Tsung Pan tied for fifth at +1 and Hughes was 10th at +5.
Pan was -1 through 16 holes before he scored a triple-bogey on No. 17. The freshman from Taiwan hit his tee shot on the par-3 hole into the bushes and struggled to recover from there. He ended up 2-over 73 for the round but was still able to notch his fourth top-five finish of the season.
Hughes double-bogeyed his last hole to end the round also with a 73. The defending tournament champion started his day the same way he ended it -- with a double bogey -- but was able to claw his way back in between to par with three birdies and one bogey before the final hole. The 10th place finish was Hughes' best result of his junior season.
"Charlie really played great this week," beamed Thurmond. "He really did a nice job. His game looked better than it had in a long time. His intensity level and focus was great.
"It's unfortunate how he ended with that double-bogey, because he really had a nice week and ended up with a good result."
Simsby birdied his next-to-last hole to get to +1, but a double-bogey on the par-4, No. 1 -- the same hole that stung Hughes - pushed him to +3 for the day. McElyea was even par through 14 holes before a triple on No. 17 put above par.
Despite the misstep at the end, Williams is confident the Huskies will bounce back.
"We are definitely a team that holds ourselves to pretty high standards," said Williams. "To finish the way we did, nobody feels good. We're good but we know we have a long way to go as a team.
"Now, I think we are more motivated than we were and we do not want to have this feeling again. We are going to have some time off and I think the guys will step it up. The mood right now is we're down, but we'll definitely come back."