NORTH AUGUSTA — Ezequiel Delatorre’s drive on the next-to-last hole skipped the ground and came within inches of hitting the basket for a hole-in-one.
The shot was a fitting summary to a tournament controlled by Colorado State throughout the weekend.
The Rams took home the national championship in dominating fashion on Sunday, beating South Alabama by 10 strokes in the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships.
Colorado State entered the championship perhaps off the radar to many, as last year was the team’s first appearance. However, a loaded roster blew the usual contenders away.
“Colorado isn’t very well known in disc golf,” said Austin Montgomery, who finished tied for fourth individually for the Rams. “I think we just put them on the map. This is for all those who put in the practice and helped us. I have goose bumps just thinking about it.”
The Rams opened the tournament with 47 in team doubles play, besting three teams by three strokes to set the tone. They entered the final round with their largest lead at 13 strokes, and the Rams cruised to a final-round 56 in team doubles play for a total score of 789.
“The first doubles round really helped us,” Delatorre said. “Putting up important, hot rounds early was big, and it was imperative to finishing it off. We’re very happy to finally win this thing.”
The Rams were also helped in large part by the individual national champion, Jarrod Roan, who put together a second-day total of 223 to beat South Alabama’s Cameron Colglazier by one stroke.
South Alabama reached second place following a Friday total of 359, and the Jaguars remained there for the duration of the tournament, totaling 799. Colorado State kept its distance, and the Jaguars were never able to mount a comeback in the final rounds.
“They played great golf, and they were very consistent,” Colglazier said. “They just outplayed us. We played pretty well but not to our full ability.”
Augusta State also kept the position it held for the previous two days, placing third with a total of 804 after a final-round 54.
The Jaguars benefited from three players in the top 15 individually, including a seventh-place finish for Jason Lynn.
The top three teams held a sizable lead over the rest of the field, as fourth-place North Carolina State finished 18 strokes behind Augusta State.
Defending champion Oregon finished fifth with a total of 823.
The low rounds Sunday belonged to Tennessee Tech and Clemson, each shooting 51.
The top 16 teams qualified for the championship next year. A final-round 52 vaulted Alabama into 14th, while Kansas and Murray State rounded out the top 16. Humboldt State finished just outside qualification at four strokes behind Murray State.
Mississippi State jumped out to an insurmountable lead in the women’s championship and cruised to an easy win over Oregon State. Liberty claimed third place.