Arizona wins wild shootout at Tucson Country Club
The O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Ariz., a little more than an hour southeast of Tucson, just might have some competition for the most infamous shootout in the southwest after what transpired over the last three days at the Arizona Intercollegiate.
In a tournament where Arizona, New Mexico and Arkansas combined to shoot 98 under par over three days at Tucson Country Club, it took a three-foot par putt by senior Christian Banke
on the final hole to deliver the team and individual title for the host Wildcats.
At 35-under par 829 (274-278-277), the Wildcats nipped New Mexico by a single stroke for the team title while ninth-ranked Arkansas finished six shots off the pace at 29-under par. BYU was a distant fourth at 12-under 852 followed by Loyola Marymount at 10-under 854.
Banke carded rounds of 67-69-66 to finish at 14-under 202 for the event, earning his first collegiate win in what was his 42nd career start by one stroke over New Mexico's Sam Choi
, winner of the Maridoe Amateur in July. His winning putt on the 18th gave the Wildcats their fifth consecutive victory at their own event.
The Wildcats final score of 35-under par was the sixth-lowest team total in program history. It was also the second-lowest team score in the history of the Arizona Intercollegiate, trailing only the 'Cats 37-under performance in its win in 2019.
While Banke delivered the tournament winner by converting a 3-foot par save on the final hole, it was an eagle by junior Chase Sienkiewicz
on his final hole that capped off a final round 67 and set the stage for Banke's clinching knee-knocker.
Brandon Strong (-12) of New Mexico, Jack Avrit
of Santa Clara (-12) and Aaron Du
(-10) of Cal were also in the mix for the individual title.
The Wildcats will return to official tournament action on Thursday, Feb. 17 when they make their annual appearance in the John Burns Intercollegiate in Lihue, Hawai'i.
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.
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