TCU takes home a four-shot win at the ASU Thunderbird
The winning team from Texas Christian University
In a field that featured three of the top-20 teams in the nation, it was TCU that had the hottest hand in the desert as the Horned Frogs earned a four-stroke victory over 12th-ranked Arizona State to win the ASU Thunderbird Collegiate, which concluded on Saturday at Papago Park.
TCU seized control of the tournament with blazing second round when it posted a 20-under par score of 264 to build a four-stroke lead over No. 3 Oklahoma State. TCU then closed the door on the field with 4-under round of 280 to fend off the host Sun Devils, who climbed four spots up the leaderboard into second place after carding an 11-under score of 273 on Saturday. The Cowboys, who had posted wins in each of their last two starts, slipped back to third after a final round 281 left them at 823 (-29) for their three days of work at Papago. It was TCU’s first win of the season.
“It was a great team win especially with such a strong field,” said TCU head coach Bill Montigel. “The second round when we shot 20-under was huge but I was most impressed with our last round because we haven’t been in that position for a while with this team and the pin locations were very tough.”
Albert Boneta of New Mexico, Ludvig Aberg of Texas Tech and Blake Tomlinson of Utah tied for medalist honors at 12-under 201, one stroke ahead of Austin Ekroat of Oklahoma State and Jacob Skov Olesen of Utah. Boneta’s final round 66 earned him a share of his first collegiate title, while Adberg birdied his last hole to gain a share of first place. Tomlinson, who began the day with a one stroke lead on the field, picked up his second career win after a final round of 70. Olesen seemingly had his fate in his own hands but bogeyed the last two holes to finish tied for fourth place.
Paced by Filippo Celli’s 7-under 64, Olesen’s 65, a 66 Gustav Frimrodt and Mateo Fernández de Oliveira’s 68, TCU jumped to the top of the leaderboard in Friday’s second round with a 20-under 264, which was the second-lowest round to par in school history. Behind a 68 by de Oliveira on Saturday, TCU managed a 4-under 280 in the final round and withstood a hard-charging Arizona State squad which jumped four spots up the leaderboard into second place with a final round 273 (-11).
The win couldn’t have come at a better time for TCU, which entered the tournament ranked 62nd in the nation by Golfstat. Beating eight teams ranked in Golfstat’s top 35, including Big 12 rival Oklahoma State, and its strong second place showing the week before at the Cowboy Classic at nearby Whirlwind, will aid the Horned Frogs’ case to secure its 31st consecutive NCAA Regional bid come May.
TCU and Oklahoma State will lock up again at the Big 12 Championships beginning on April 26 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., while the Sun Devils will turn their attention to the Pac 12 Championships, April 26-28 at Mayacama Golf Club in Santa Rosa, Calif.
ABOUT THE ASU Thunderbird Invite
54 hole men's college tournament hosted by
Arizona State University. Team (best four scores out
five players each round) and individual competitions.
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