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Thornberry earns share of tournament record
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Ceres' Ryan Thornberry won the Buzzini Invitational by one stroke while playing for the California State Stanislaus men's golf team during his freshman year. His opening-round 67 and 54-hole total of 3-under-par 213 were both tournament records.

The 2002 Ceres High graduate/sophomore had a record-breaking performance at the 2004 Buzzini Invitational at Turlock Country Club on April 13.

"I was pretty satisfied with the way I played," Thornberry said. "I didn't hit it that well but I made some pretty good saves."

Thornberry tied for first with University of Hawaii-Hilo junior Nick Mason at 6-under 210. Mason won the tiebreaker over Thornberry for medalist honors because he posted a lower score in the second round of the tournament on Monday, April 12. Mason carded a tournament-record 7-under-par 65. Thornberry scored a 5-under 67.

"I still wish I would have had a chance to play it off," Thornberry said.

"At least I got a share of the new record."

Thornberry has 10 top-10 finishes this year. He might accomplish two individual goals he set prior to the start of the season.

"I'd like to win three times and lower my scoring average from last year," Thornberry said.

Thornberry has placed first twice and has lowered his scoring average considerably.

If the season ended last week, Thornberry would have shattered the team's single-season scoring-average record by almost two strokes. Thornberry has a 71.06 average through 12 events. Marc Lawless' record-breaking mark of 73 was set in 2002.

"Hopefully, things will work out my way," Thornberry said.

The Warriors finished second in a field of 16 with a 3-over 867 at their home tournament. Division I UC Davis won the team title at 1-over 865. Cal State Bakersfield, Western Washington University and St. Martin's College finished third (877), fourth (881) and fifth (884), respectively.

Freshman Billy Moon placed fifth with a 3-under 213 for the Warriors. Senior Jeff King placed eighth at 1-under 215. A.J. Shiffert placed 53rd at 14-over 230. Ryan Qualle placed 72nd at 20-over 236.

"We played pretty well, especially in the second round," Thornberry said.

The Warriors were in second place after two rounds (575), including one stroke behind UC Davis (574), two ahead of Western Washington (577) and four ahead of CSU Bakersfield (579).

Thornberry tied for third after two rounds at 6-under 138. He played alongside Mason. The duo have practiced and hung out together at different tournaments during the course of the season.

"Nick's one of my good friends," Thornberry said. "He's a nice guy."

The Warriors won the Buzzini tournament last year with an 873 total, 11 strokes ahead of Western Washington (884) and 15 strokes better than Chico State (888).

Five of Stanislaus' players will compete at the NCAA West Regionals in Bellingham, Wash., May 2-5. Three of the Warriors' starting slots have been filled. Hanny selected Thornberry, Moon and King. Four other players, Qualle, Shiffert, Keith Ornelas and Phil Harris, are vying for the final two spots.

Stanislaus will advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships if it finishes in the top four in the region.

"I'm pretty confident we're going to do it," said Thornberry, whose team ranks No. 3 in the latest Division II men's golf west regional poll.

Stanislaus has made four straight appearances at the Division II national tournament. The Warriors took third in 2003, second in 2002, third in 2001 and fourth in 2000.

The national tournament is being held at the Victoria Hills Golf Club in Deland, Fla., May 11-16.