Men's Golf Defends Crown at The Prestige
LA QUINTA, Calif. – Led by a 4-under par 67 in Wednesday’s final round and a second-place individual finish by sophomore All-American Sam Burns, No. 3-ranked LSU kept its crown at The Prestige at PGA West while defending its team title with a four-shot victory over Pepperdine in the event held at the Greg Norman Course.
The Tigers broke par for the second-straight day as they posted a team score of 1-under par 283 to take the trophy back to Baton Rouge with a final 54-hole score of even-par 852 in the 17th-annual event.
Pepperdine finished four shots back in second place with a tournament score of 4-over par 856, while 11th-ranked Oklahoma trailed in third place with a score of 6-over 858 and ninth-ranked Texas Tech and 10th-ranked and tournament co-host Stanford rounded out the Top 5 in the 13-team field in a tie for fourth place at 9-over 861.
Sophomores Luis Gagne and Nathan Jeansonne also led the way in Wednesday’s final round with matching scores of even-par 71, while freshman Philip Barbaree rounded out the counting scores with a 3-over 74.
The Tigers were crowned team champions for the third time in six collegiate events in 2016-17 while adding their title at The Prestige at PGA West in their spring opener to wins at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate and David Toms Intercollegiate during the fall season. They defended the title they won at PGA West a year ago by 18 shots with a final score of 26-under par 826.
Burns continued to show the form that earned him a selection to the Ben Hogan Award Watch List earlier this month when he fired the team’s lowest round of the week with a 4-under 67 in Wednesday’s final round.
He turned at 3-under par for his round with birdies at the par-three fourth, par-three seventh and par-four ninth holes, and dropped as low as 5-under par for the day with two more birdies at the par-four 10th and the par-five 12th to open the back nine. Back-to-back bogeys at the par-four 14th and 15th holes before a bounce-back birdie at the par-five 16th moved Burns into second place on the final leaderboard at 5-under par for the event. It marked his fourth top-five and seventh top-10 finish in seven starts this season.
Burns finished four shots back of Arizona State’s Jared du Toit as the Sun Devil standout won medalist honors with a cumulative 9-under par 204 in 54 holes at the Greg Norman Course. LSU’s sophomore has absolutely been one of the most prolific players in college golf this season as he carded his 19th round at par or better in 21 rounds played this season.
Impressively, Burns is now a cumulative 40-under par in his 21 rounds on the season as he averages 69.05 strokes per round each time he tees it up for the Tigers in what’s sure to be another All-American season.
Gagne earned his fifth top-20 finish in seven appearances this season as he followed Burns in a tie for 14th place on the final leaderboard. His even-par 71 during Wednesday’s play gave him a final score of even-par 213 for the championship to finish just two shots outside the Top 10 and nine shots off the pace at the top.
Like Gagne, Jeansonne also canceled out three birdies with three bogeys to wrap up the tournament with his lowest score of the week with an even-par 71 to climb into a tie for 52nd place at 12-over par 225.
Ricard tied for 26th place in his spring debut with a final score of 5-over par 218 as he wrapped up the event with a 7-over par 78 after firing back-to-back 1-under 70s as the top Tiger through 36 holes. Fellow Shreveport native Philip Barbaree rounded out the counting scores in Wednesday’s title decider as he carded a 3-over 74 to tie for 31st place in his freshman debut. Barbaree counted each of his three scores in his first tournament as a Tiger after also carding a 4-over 75 on Monday and an even-par 71 on Tuesday.
Caldwell’s Career Best
Junior Blake Caldwell, playing as an individual this week, teed off Monday with a career-best tournament finish of 19th place that he earned in back-to-back events at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic and David Toms Intercollegiate during the fall of his sophomore season in 2015. He also posted the lowest tournament score of 7-over 223 in the team’s 2015 fall opener at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic.
The Ponchatoula native took down both career bests with his performance this week while cracking the Top 10 of the final leaderboard in a three-way tie for 10th place with a final score of 2-under par 211.
After opening with an even-par round of 71 on Monday, Caldwell shot back-to-back rounds of 1-under 70 on Tuesday and Wednesday to finish in red figures. His final-round scorecard featured a string of three-straight birdies on holes Nos. 4-6 on the front nine and back-to-back birdies at Nos. 17 and 18 along with four bogeys en route to 70.
Winstead Wins Again
LSU not only earned its third victory of the 2016-17 season this week, but the win also marked the 28th team title in 12 seasons under head coach Chuck Winstead as he added to his career wins record at his alma mater. The Tigers’ overall record now stands at 77-15 through six events this campaign as they continue to stake their claim as one of the top teams in the country once again.
With their 2017 spring season now off and running with a win at The Prestige at PGA West, the Tigers waste no time as they make the short trek to Lafayette next week to compete at this year’s Louisiana Classics being held Monday and Tuesday at Oakbourne Country Club. They will follow with an appearance at the General Hackler Championship running March 11-12 at Dunes Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
17TH-ANNUAL PRESTIGE AT PGA WEST – FINAL ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 852)
1. LSU 291-278-283 – 852 E; 2. Pepperdine 281-296-279 – 856 +4; 3. Oklahoma 286-290-282 – 858 +6; T4. Texas Tech 293-283-285 – 861 +9; T4. Stanford 281-289-291 – 861 +9; T6. Iowa State 288-283-291 – 862 +10; T6. San Diego State 282-289-291 – 862 +10; 8. Arizona State 288-289-288 – 865 +13; 9. East Tennessee State 292-291-299 – 882 +30; 10. St. Mary’s (CA) 291-292-300 – 883 +31; 11. Stirling University 299-289-300 – 888 +36; 12. UC-Davis 293-296-300 – 889 +37; 13. San Diego 298-302-302 – 902 +50.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 213)
1. Jared du Toit, Arizona State, 67-67-70 – 204 -9; 2. Sam Burns, LSU, 72-69-67 – 208 -5; T3. Nahum Mendoza III, San Diego State, 70-68-71 – 209 -4; T3. Quade Cummins, 69-71-69 – 209 -4; T3. Sandy Scott, Texas Tech, 72-67-70 – 209 -4*; T6. Clay Feagler, Pepperdine, 71-71-68 – 210 -3; T6. Franklin Huang, Stanford, 67-69-74 – 210 -3; T6. Isaiah Salinda, Stanford, 69-71-70 – 210 -3*; T9. Blake Caldwell, LSU, 71-70-70 – 211 -2*; T9. Mateusz Gradecki, East Tennessee State, 72-70-69 – 211 -2; T9. Max McGreevy, Oklahoma, 72-71-68 – 211 -2.
2. Sam Burns, 72-69-67 – 208 -5
T9. Blake Caldwell, 71-70-70 – 211 -2*
T14. Luis Gagne, 74-68-71 – 213 E
T26. Eric Ricard, 70-70-78 -- 218 +5
T31. Philip Barbaree, 75-71-74 – 220 +7
T48. Nathan Jeansonne, 78-76-71 – 225 +12
* - Indicates player competing as an individual.