Texas Tech wins Amer Ari Invitational, Fredrik Nilehn Medals
Texas Tech celebrates Amer Ari victory <br>(Texas Tech Photo)
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 in a sudden death playoff junior Fredrik Nilehn claimed the 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 Sands said. "We played great one-through-five. I think the highest score we had all week was an even-par 72, so 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 in front but they were quickly overtaken by the surging Red Raiders. On Saturday Texas Tech rallied to the lead thanks to a lineup full of 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 late 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 finish. However, Nilehn had a different type of finish in mind.

On the 17th Nilehn rolled in a birdie to pull a stroke closer, thus setting the stage for his final hole eagle on the par-5 18th.

That eagle forced second round leader and playing partner, USC senior Rico Hoey, to convert his birdie try 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 Arizona State senior Jared du Toit. Starting the day four back, du Toit, the first round co-leader teed off on No. 4 and used a 6-under 66 to punch his ticket into the playoff. Throughout the round du Toit penciled in eight birdies 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 season with the Red Raiders after transferring from Kennesaw State following his sophomore year. While at Kennesaw 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 honors 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 great 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 out 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 at 36-under, No. 22 Oregon was third at 26-under while Arizona State and Colorado shared fourth at 23- under.

The highest ranked team of the seven Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll top-25 teams in the field is No. 4 Oklahoma State and they finished 13-under to share seventh.

-Texas Tech athletics contributed to this story

Results: The Amer Ari Invitational
1SwedenFredrik NilehnSweden80066-67-67=200
T2CARico HoeyRancho Cucamonga, CA50067-63-70=200
T2CanadaJared du ToitCanada50064-70-66=200
4CAMaverick McNealyPortola Valley, CA40068-66-68=202
T5GermanyJeremy PaulGermany40070-69-66=205

View full results for The Amer Ari Invitational

ABOUT THE The Amer Ari Invitational

54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the University of Hawaii-Hilo. Team (best four scores out of five players) and individual competitions.

View Complete Tournament Information

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