Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture

Cal Poly Pomona Team Takes 2nd Place in National Turf Competition

Published Date: Feb 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

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They fought to the bitter end, only to come up a little short.

For the second year in a row, a team of Cal Poly Pomona students took second place at the Golf Course Superintendent Association of America’s Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition.

The team of Brian Fuertes, Mark Nakatsui, Eric Green, and Sean McLaughlin actually tied Penn State for first place during the Feb. 9 competition in Orlando, forcing a tiebreaker. But Penn State emerged as the champion for the second year in a row.

The Cal Poly Pomona team took home $2,000 in prize money. It finished ahead of teams from schools such as Auburn, Michigan State, Nebraska, Maryland and Purdue.

A second Cal Poly Pomona team consisting of Laura Gonzales, Trisha Morelia, Michael Vermilye, and Ashley Herman, finished in 24th place.

Cal Poly Pomona is known for producing high-quality plant science students, many of whom are in high demand for jobs after graduation.

McLaughlin recently worked as the only college student on the groundskeeping crew at Super Bowl LI in Houston, after winning the Toro Super Bowl Sports Turfgrass Training Program. He also took first place at a Sports Turf Management Association competition with Mt. SAC students recently.

After the Turf Bowl, Fuertes flew directly to work at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament last week.

The Turf Bowl Competition was held during the Golf Industry Show in Orlando. The event tests students’ knowledge of turf management, including irrigation, water and business management, weeds, diseases, insects and fungicides.

A total of 58 teams from 36 colleges and universities competed in the event. They comprised of 204 students. A total of $10,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to the top 10 teams at the event.