Weather plays a large part in the sport of golf. On Wednesday, strong winds blew in favor of the Warriors as Cal State Stanislaus captured the 2012 NCAA Central/West Regional Championship.
Cal State Stanislaus will make another appearance at the national championship tournament as the Warriors advance to the NCAA Championships this week in Louisville, Ky. The regional title is Cal State Stanislaus' first since 1996. It's the school's second regional championship as a Division II program.
"It was another total team effort this week. I am really happy for the guys, they've earned this trip (to Nationals)," head coach John Cook said.
The Warriors had the second best score on Wednesday's third and final round at the Wigwam Resort's Golf Course as they shot a 288 to finish the three-day event at one-over par 865.
But, just as Trevor Blair, Stanislaus' final player on the course was getting ready for his putt on No. 18, officials called in the golfers for a weather delay due to strong winds and lightning.
After a 60-plus-minute delay, Blair made his one-foot putt to finish at +2. Collectively, the Warriors went to dinner and waited - while following live results - for the rest of the field to complete play.
The lead group of Chico State, Colorado School of Mines and Grand Canyon had to battle the 25-plus miles per hour gusts and all had a tough time. By the time the Warriors returned to the course, they found themselves atop of the leaderboard for their seventh team victory this season.
"It's not the best way to win the tournament, but (the weather) is a part of golf," Cook said. "I am just pleased that we reach our goal of making it to Nationals."
Chico State, which led the Warriors by 10 strokes after 36 holes of play, shot a +14 on Wednesday to finish second behind Stanislaus with an 869 total. The other three qualifying teams to advance are Colorado School of Mines (+7, 871), Western Washington (+12, 876) and host Grand Canyon (+13, 877).
Blair and Chris McCracken ended up tied for fifth with even-par 216s, seven shots behind winner Jim Knous of Colorado School of Mines. Defending national champion Kyle Souza of Chico State finished at five-under for second.
Teddy Schrier and Rob Damschen both shot even par scores and Paul Smith was one-under on Wednesday. Schrier notched a top 20 finish with a two-over 218 for 12th.
Cal State Stanislaus will appear in the Division II Championships for the 19th time out of 23 years.