Senior George Cunningham led Arizona at their own tournament
(Arizona Athletics Photo)
TUCSON, AZ (January 30, 2018) - Arizona has played 70 tournaments since their last win in the spring of 2012 but they have to wait no longer. Playing as the host school in the Arizona Intercollegiate the Wildcats combined for a 15-under final round to rally to a 10-over finish and a two-stroke win over No. 3 Texas A&M (+12).
After play was suspended due to darkness midway through Monday's second round Arizona found themselves in third place. However, following a strong finish to the second round Arizona continued to keep the peddle to the mettle in the final round. Led by 6-under 65's from George Cunningham and David Laskin (T11, +6) the Wildcats stormed up the leaderboard to pick up the first win of head coaches Jim Anderson's tenure.
"Today was a special day for our team and this program," said Anderson who joined the program as the head coach in 2012. "We have a great team and we believe in each of the guys. Playing your best at home is not always easy and we did an amazing job staying patient and playing our game. Great things happened at the end thanks to picking good clubs and making great putts."
Cunningham, a senior was the lead Wildcat, finishing in second place overall at 1-over. During his final round 6-under 65 Cunningham rolled in four birdies and also eagled the par-4 16th.
"I am beyond happy and excited to have gotten this team win," Cunningham said. "Winning now with the team and seeing how far the team has come since my freshman year has been fun to watch but to get this win is the biggest thing to happen so far for me in my college career. Winning my first event last semester was so fun but this win as a team is better in every aspect."
In the final round Arizona, looking for their first NCAA Regional bid since 2013, also received an under-par showing from Trevor Werbylo (T45, +14) who carded a 3-under 61. Playing his collegiate debut Tianlang Guan (10th, +5) closed with a level-par 71.
Turning our attention to the race it was Baylor junior Braden Bailey earning a four-stroke victory. Bailey, 3-under, started his tournament with a 1-over 72 before rebounding consecutive 2-under 69's. His latter red figure round included three birdies and a bogey.
An All-Big 12 performer last year, Bailey now has five top-10 showings in five events this season. Bailey previously had shared medalist honors at the 2016 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate but his final round performance earned himself his first career outright title.
Behind Bailey and Cunningham in the individual standings came four others tied for third at 2-over. The quartet includes Zander Lozano (UTSA), Charles Corner (UTEP), Riley Elmes (Loyola Marymount) and Dan Erickson (Texas A&M).
The top-five of the team standings was concluded by first day leader No. 6 Baylor (+14) in third, St. Mary's (+23) was fourth while BYU (+31) took fifth.
Arizona Athletics contributed to this story
DAY ONE RECAP
College golf is back and after a difficult day one of the Arizona Intercollegiate No. 6 Baylor is 16-over and leading by five-strokes. The Bears will look to hold onto their advantage Tuesday when play resumes after darkness suspended second round play at Sewailo Golf Club.
Baylor is being paced by medalist leader and the only player in the field, Braden Bailey, who is even-par with still six-holes remaining in his second round.
The junior began his day with a 1-over 72 in the morning first round before moving back to level-par for the tournament with a 1-under performance through the first 12-holes of the second round. Through a round and a half Bailey has double-bogeyed twice and bogeyed twice but he has also carded six birdies.
With four top-10 showings in four events this year Bailey, an All-Big 12 performer last year, will be in search of his first career outright victory on Tuesday. His previous best finish was a shared individual title at the 2016 Royal Oaks Intercollegiate.
Baylor was also helped to the lead by the top-10 play of Garrett May (+3, T5) and Ryan Grider (+5, T10). The Bears are in search of both their second win in a row and second of the season after they closed the fall with a win at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate.
No. 3 Texas A&M (+21) coming off a big fall is in second place, host Arizona (+24) sits in third, fourth place is owned by New Mexico (+26) while in fifth it is St. Mary's (+27).
Trailing Bailey in the individual standings are Andre Garcia (New Mexico) in second at 1-over, Charles Corner (UTEP) and Michael Rome (UTSA) are sharing third at 2-over while Riley Elmes (Loyola Marymount), May and Zander Lozano (UTSA) are tied for fifth at 3-over.
Second round play will resume at 8 a.m. local time Tuesday with the plan for the teams to complete the 54-hole tournament.
ABOUT THE Arizona Intercollegiate
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by the
University of Arizona. Team and individual
competitions, with the best four of five rounds each
comprising the team score.
View Complete Tournament Information