Bobby Bai and UCF have now won two tournaments in a row
(UCF Athletics Photo)
Augusta, GA (April 2, 2017) -- In third place and two shots behind at the start of the day, UCF fired an 11-under final round to post 28-under and win the 3M Augusta Invitational by four shots. For UCF, out of the American Conference, it was their second win of the season.
Playing at Forest Hills Golf Club the Knights were able to hold off runner-up No. 8 Wake Forest (-24), 36-hole co-leader New Mexico (-21) ended up third, No. 9 Illinois (-17) had a share of the 36-hole lead as well before settling for fourth while host Augusta (-15) placed fifth.
"This was a great team win," UCF head coach Bryce Wallor said. "We have been on the verge of playing well and it all clicked this week. We have played the regular season undefeated in the AAC so far and we hope to continue building on this success going into the postseason."
UCF was powered to the top thanks to four under-par tallies in the final round, with the best coming from Kyler Tate in the form of a 4-under 68. Tate, 1-under for the week, ended up tied for 30th this weekend but on Sunday he carded six birdies and only two bogeys. From Nos. 11-17 Tate birdied four-times.
The highest finishing Knight was Bobby Bai (T2; -10) while Manuel Elvira (4th; -9), Juuso Kahlos (T25; -2) and Donnie Trosper (T35; E) all contributed throughout the tournament.
In the medalist race Illinois junior Dylan Meyer was able to hold on with an even-par 72 final round. Meyer, the winner by a shot, posted 11-under to finish just in front of Bai and Will Zalatoris of Wake Forest. One shot further back was Elvira in fourth at 9-under while Andrej Bevins (New Mexico) and Broc Everett (Augusta) share fifth at 8-under.
During the closing round Meyer was able to maintain his lead with two birdies (Nos. 7 and 12) and a pair of bogeys as well.
The victory was the second medalist title of his career and first since his win at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational in his first career start.
What makes the win even more special is that it nets him a sponsor exemption into the 2018 Valspar Championship.
“It shows the hard work that I’ve put in through all I’ve gone through in college,” Meyer told Golfweek. “I’ve always wanted the chance to play [a professional event], some things just haven’t worked out, whether I haven’t qualified or I haven’t been able to get exemptions. This one I played my way into it, so it’s nice to have it that way.”
-Golfweek contributed to this story
No. 9 Illinois and New Mexico are both 19-under and the leaders after the 36-hole first day of the 3M Augusta Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club. The teams find themselves in front of third place UCF (-17) by two while No. 8 Wake Forest (-14) is in fourth and Houston (-11) is fifth.
Leading defending champion Illinois is medalist pace setter Dylan Meyer. The junior, who won the Western Amateur last year, combined rounds of 67-66 to post 11-under and open up a three shot advantage.
Throughout the two Saturday rounds Meyers was impressive but he saved some of his best golf for the end of the second round. After starting round two even-par he played Nos. 6-15 in 6-under and then parred to the house.
Helping Illinois to the lead were Michael Feagles (T11; -4) and Edoardo Lipparelli (T18; -3).
New Mexico was pushed to the lead by three top-10 performances. The low Lobo is Andrej Bevins who is tied for third at 7-under. Bevins put together rounds of 70-67.
One shot behind Bevins is Andre Garcia (T5; -6) and then Sean Carlon (T9; -5).
The rest of the individual top-five looks like this; Michael Perras (Houston) is in second at 8-under, Bevins and Bobby Bai (UCF) are sharing third at 7-under while Manuel Elvira (UCF), Broc Everett (Augusta), Grant Hirschman (Oklahoma) and Garcia are sharing fifth at 6-under.
ABOUT THE Augusta Invitational
Founded in 1979, The Augusta Haskins Award
Invitational presented by Valspar carries on the rich
tradition of golf in Augusta, Georgia. The winner
receives an automatic exemption into the PGA
Some of the best golf teams in the country have
competed in the event's 38 years of history,
several touring pros such as Davis Love III, Phil
Mickelson (1989), Brad Faxon, Justin Leonard
Vaughn Taylor (1998), Oliver Wilson (2001, 2003),
Chris Kirk (2005), Scott Brown (2006), Dustin
Johnson (2007), Henrik Norlander (2010), Jordan
Spieth, Patrick Reed, and Beau Hossler (2016).
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