Kozak leads Thunderbirds to A.I.I. banner


April 28, 2014, BREMERTON, Wash. (ISN) – Connear Kozak went 3-under par on his last two holes of the final round to capture individual medalist honors today at the Association of Independent Institutions Conference Men’s Golf Championship in Bremerton, Wash. and lead his UBC Thunderbirds team to its first A.I.I. banner since 2011.


UBC started the day with a five-shot advantage and built on that with a final round-best 4-under 292 to finish at 24-over 888 (293-303-292) at the Gold Mountain Golf Club’s Olympic course. It played at 6,535 yards on Monday.

The Thunderbirds, ranked 11th in the NAIA, held off a charging Lindenwood-Belleville Lynx squad that improved every round to earn second place with a score of 35-over 899 (302-301-296).

Unranked LUB finished four shots ahead of No. 6 California State-San Marcos (304-297-302) and seven strokes up on No. 25 Houston-Victoria (298-307-301).

UBC has earned the A.I.I.’s automatic bid to the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship, which will be played May 13-16 at the LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Kozak and Ryan Odom of CSU San Marcos were two of three players who held the lead going into today’s final round.

Odom was in first place on the individual leaderboard and two shots ahead of second place Kozak heading to the 17th hole. Odom bogeyed the hole while Kozak pulled even with a birdie. Heading to the 18th on even terms, Kozak eagled to complete a final round 70 and claim a two-stroke victory. The Vernon, B.C. native went 4-under on the back nine and finished the tournament at 1-under 215 (70-75-70).

Odom settled for second with a total score of 1-over 217 (75-70-72). LUB’s Brian Murtagh and UBC’s Jack Wood tied for third at 4-over 220. Murtagh shot rounds of 74-72-74 while Wood had consecutive 75’s after opening the tournament with a 70.

Murtagh’s teammate Joaquin Diaz took the final spot on the all-A.I.I. team with a fifth-place finish. His total was 6-over 222 (76-73-73).

UBC’s Nate Ollis was alone in 11th at 12-over 228 (77-78-73). Scott Secord tied for 12th with a three-round total of 13-over 229 (76-79-74). Evan Holmes rounded out the Thunderbirds’ contingent with a score of 14-over 230 (80-75-75), which put him in a group of golfers in 16th place.

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