Texas Tech celebrates Amer Ari victory
(Texas Tech Photo)
WAIKOLA, HI (February 4, 2017) -- It was a clean
sweep for No. 17 Texas Tech at the Amer Ari
Invitational. The Red Raiders overcame a one-stroke
deficit to finish 44-under and win the team title while
a sudden death playoff junior Fredrik Nilehn claimed
individual championship. In the two hole playoff
Nilehn outdueled USC's Rico Hoey and Arizona
State's Jared du Toit.
"It was incredible," Texas Tech head coach Greg
said. "We played great one-through-five. I think the
highest score we had all week was an even-par 72,
we pretty much had red numbers all week. I'm super
proud of the guys. They worked hard, and this is a
preview of what's to come."
No. 7 USC began the day at Waikoloa Kings' Course
front but they were quickly
overtaken by the surging Red Raiders. On Saturday
Texas Tech rallied to the lead thanks to a lineup full
under-par rounds that resulted in all five players
finishing inside the top-29.
Behind Nilehn it was Federico Zucchetti (T5; -11),
Hannes Ronneblad (T13; -8), Ivan Ramirez (T13; -8)
and Hurly Long (T29; -4).
Texas Tech was led all week by Fredrik Nilehn, who
tallied rounds of 66-67-67 to finish 16-under. After
beginning the final round in second place and three-
strokes off the lead Nilehn spent much of the day
hovering around the lead but it wasn't until some
heroics did he join the lead.
With two holes remaining Nilehn was 2-under for the
day and at 13-under seemingly poised for a top-5
However, Nilehn had a different type of finish in
On the 17th Nilehn rolled in a birdie to pull a stroke
closer, thus setting the stage for his final hole eagle
the par-5 18th.
That eagle forced second round leader and playing
partner, USC senior Rico Hoey, to convert his birdie
just to force a playoff. Hoey took over the lead on
Friday with a career best 9-under 63 before capping
his week with a 2-under 70.
Joining Nilehn and Hoey in the playoff would be
State senior Jared du Toit. Starting the day four
du Toit, the first round co-leader teed off on No. 4
used a 6-under 66 to punch his ticket into the
Throughout the round du Toit penciled in eight
and two bogeys. Du Toit's best stretch of golf came
when he birdied Nos. 13-16 in succession.
Back to Nilehn, he is currently playing his first
with the Red Raiders after transferring from
State following his sophomore year. While at
State, Nilehn was twice an Atlantic Sun Second Team
All-Conference player. Nilehn started his Texas Tech
career with a bang last fall by winning medalist
at the Carmel Cup.
"It feels great," Nilehn said. "I came off an injury in
December and had to work really hard, so it feels
to be back in the winners' circle. Not only that, but it
was a great week. To win here as a team made it fun
for all of us. I'm excited for this semester ."
The top-5 of the individual standings was rounded
by Stanford's Maverick McNealy in fourth at 14-under
and Colorado's Jeremy Paul; Federico Zucchetti of
Texas Tech shared fifth at 11-under.
In the team standings USC ended up in second place
36-under, No. 22 Oregon was third at 26-under while
Arizona State and Colorado shared fourth at 23-
The highest ranked team of the seven Bushnell
Golfweek Coaches Poll top-25 teams in the field is
Oklahoma State and they finished 13-under to share
-Texas Tech athletics contributed to this story
ABOUT THE The Amer Ari Invitational
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the
University of Hawaii-Hilo.
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