Ken Kong Leads CMS to Comeback Win at SCIAC #2

Ken Kong finished even par over the two-day SCIAC #2 to win by four strokes and help give CMS the team title
Ken Kong finished even par over the two-day SCIAC #2 to win by four strokes and help give CMS the team title

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. - Sophomore Ken Kong shot a 70 to take individual medalist honors, on a day when nobody else in the field shot better than 73, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps men's golf team came back from an eight-shot deficit to win the second SCIAC regular season championship by three strokes on Sunday at Industry Hills Golf Club.

Kong's efforts helped CMS to a 297-300-597 finish at the two-day event, coming back to defeat La Verne, which ended up 289-311-600. Redlands had the best performance on Sunday but had too big a hole as the Bulldogs finished third with a 309-297-306. 

The reigning SCIAC Men's Golf Athlete of the week, Kong came into the day in a tie for third place, one shot back, after an opening round 72. He responded with by far the best round in the field with a -1 (70) on sunday to win by four strokes over Jake Rosen of Cal Lutheran. Kong stood at two-over after 10 holes, but responded with three birdies over his last eight, including one on 18 to come in under par for his round. 

Sophomore Mason Chiu had a solid tournament to earn a fifth-place finish with a 75-75-150. He had a tough front nine on Sunday to take the turn at +6, but then rattled off four birdies in a row from 10-13 to help CMS make its late push. 

Kong was in the last grouping with Conner Davis of La Verne, who came into the day tied for the individual lead at 71. Davis, though, struggled with an 82 on Sunday, as Kong's scorecard provided a 12-stroke swing in the team standings as the final foursome to reach the clubhouse, turning a nine-stroke deficit into a three-stroke win.

In fact, the 18th hole was a big factor in the final outcome, as La Verne had three bogeys and two double-bogeys on the 18th, while Kong came through a birdie to ice the team win. 

CMS, which has now won back-to-back events after also winning The West Cup last week, will carry some momentum as it next heads into the SCIAC Championships on April 18-20 at Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena