Nygren, Smith Breeze to Victory in NCGA Four-Ball Championship

Nygren, Smith Breeze to Victory in NCGA Four-Ball Championship

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly golfers Cole Nygren and Grady Smith posted a wire-to-wire victory Sunday in the Northern California Golf Association's 51st Annual Four-Ball Championship at Spyglass Hill on the Monterey Peninsula.

Nygren, a senior this season, and Smith, a junior, finished 54 holes of play with an 18-under-par 198 total and a runaway 10-shot victory over Jason Anthony and Randy Haag. Two other duos finished third, another shot back.

Nygren and Smith shot to the lead Friday with a 64, just two shots off the championship 18-hole record, carding six birdies and an eagle. During the bogey-less round, Smith carded four birdies while Nygren added two birdies and the eagle on the par-5 14th hole.

The Mustang pair followed that with a 66 Saturday, stretching their advantage from two strokes to seven, and a 68 Sunday.

In all, Nygren and Smith recorded three eagles, 13 birdies and just one bogey over three rounds of play. They were one under par on the par-3 holes, five under par on the par-4 holes and 12 under par on the par-5 holes.

The 64 posted on Friday came on a windy day in which the stroke average of the day was 80.127. In Saturday's second round, their 66 was 14 strokes lower than the field average.

While everyone else was getting blown off the course, the duo sailed. It was the first time they'd ever teed off together in a four-ball event. On Saturday night, Cal Poly head coach Scott Cartwright sent the two a text reading, 'Keep it up. You're killing it.'

"We both have the type of games where we're not going to miss a lot of shots," Smith said. "It's highly unlikely for both of us to miss a shot at the same time."

For both Nygren and Smith, the win marked their first NCGA victories.

"It feels really good," Smith said. "It was a fun three days."

The NCGA Four-Ball Championship began in 1967 at Spyglass Hill and has been played at the Robert Trent Jones layout ever since. The 54-hole competition consists of two-man teams in which both players play their own ball and the lowest score of the two is counted on each hole.

The lowest 18-hole score ever posted was 62 by RC Orr and Scott Roak (2011), Brett Viboch and Bobby Bucey (2016) and Nick Moore and Matt Cohn (2016). The lowest 54-hole total of 195 was recorded in 2016 by Bobby Bucey and Brett Viboch.

Nygren led Cal Poly this spring with a 72.2 scoring average over 32 rounds with nine top-20 finishes and 14 rounds of par or better, including seven rounds in the 60s. Smith averaged 72.9 strokes over 26 rounds with three top-20 finishes and eight rounds of par or better, including three in the 60s.

Nygren finished his Mustang career with a 73.41 average over 104 rounds, No. 5 on Cal Poly's all-time list. Smith will carry a 72.88 career scoring average into his senior season next year.