Presley, Men's Golf Win Titles at Louisiana Classics
LAFAYETTE, La. - The No. 16-ranked LSU men's golf team made it a clean sweep of Louisiana Classics titles on Tuesday as the Tigers cruised to a 14-shot victory for their first team title of the year and sophomore Andrew Presley scored a three-shot win over senior teammate Sang Yi for medalist honors in the championship held this week at Oakbourne Country Club.
The Tigers made history by firing their lowest 54-hole tournament score in nearly three decades with their winning score of 17-under par 847 in 54 holes at this year's Louisiana Classics.
They followed rounds of 5-under 283 and 9-under 279 on Monday with a 3-under 285 for Tuesday's final round to finish 14 strokes clear of SMU and Tulsa for their first team title of the 2011-12 season. LSU has not finished at 17-under par or lower in a 54-hole event since at least 1985.
The 20th-ranked Kent State Golden Flashes finished 18 shots off the pace in fourth place at 1-over 865 for the tournament, while Memphis followed in fifth place in the team standings at 2-over 866.
After taking a two-shot lead with back-to-back rounds of 4-under par 68 on Monday, Presley fired a score of 2-under par 70 on Tuesday to claim his first collegiate victory in two seasons as an LSU Tiger with a 54-hole score of 10-under 206 for the tournament. Presley finished three shots clear of Yi for the medalist honor as Yi took second place overall with a career-low 7-under 209 for his best collegiate finish.
Presley's winning score of 10-under 206 is the lowest 54-hole finish by a Tiger since Austin Gutgsell won the 2010 David Toms Intercollegiate with a matching performance.
This marks the first time that LSU has swept team and individual titles for an event since hosting the 2010 David Toms Intercollegiate on Oct. 19, 2010. It is also the second time in three seasons that LSU has won both titles at the Louisiana Classics in Lafayette as the Tigers and All-American Andrew Loupe swept the team and individual championships in the 24th-annual event held in 2010.
With the win, LSU head coach Chuck Winstead moves into a tie for third place overall on the school's list of winningest coaches as the Tigers have claimed 12 tournament titles during his tenure.
"I was pleased with the effort I saw from our team and how these guys competed this week to go out there and get their first win of the season," Winstead said. "It speaks well of the group that we finished with the best team score in each round and were able to finish it off strong this afternoon.
"In team golf, you usually have one or two guys who are playing very well, and another two or three guys who maybe don't have their best stuff. The weeks when those two or three guys manage their game and post meaningful numbers are the weeks you have a chance to finish well as a team. That was certainly the key for our team this week in winning the Louisiana Classics."
While Presley led the team with a 2-under 70 in the final round, Yi broke par for the third time in as many rounds with a score of 1-under par 71 en route to a career-low 7-under par 209 for the week.
Lyons enjoyed his best tournament as a member of LSU's five-man starting lineup as he finished just one shot out of the Top 10 of the leaderboard after tying for 12th place overall at 1-under par 215. Lyons shot a pair of even-par 72s after opening with a 1-under 71 in the first round.
Both Gutgsell and Jolly finished in a tie for 32nd place in the final individual standings with equal totals of 3-over par 219 in 54 holes played at Oakbourne Country Club.
Sophomore Franco Castro led a group of three Tigers playing as individuals this week while tying for 44th place on the leaderboard at 5-over par 221. Sophomore Smylie Kaufman followed in a tie for 47th place at 6-over 222, while freshman Myles Lewis finished in a tie for 79th place at 15-over 231.
"These next few weeks are important for our team because everyone will have an opportunity to see some action," Winstead said. "When you have a young team like we have, we've got to have rounds. That's how we'll learn who is ready to take the next step and continue to play as the season moves along. It's the benefit of getting to play eight and nine guys like we did this week.
"We want to identify the players who can consistently shoot a meaningful round and can find a way to get the job done when we need it the most. We hope to have more of a sense of who we are and what we have going forward this spring. We look forward to continued growth in the coming weeks."
The Tigers return to action Sunday with the opening round of the 2012 Argent Financial Classic hosted at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, La. Louisiana Tech plays host to the three-day, 54-hole tourney that continues with the second round on Monday and the final round on March 13.
LOUISIANA CLASSICS - FINAL ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 864)
1. LSU 283-279-285 - 847 -17; T2. Tulsa 290-284-287 - 861 -3; T2. SMU 285-284-292 - 861 -3; 4. Kent State 285-281-299 - 865 +1; 5. Memphis 284-283-299 - 866 +2; 6. Louisiana-Lafayette 289-287-292 - 868 +4; 7. Southeastern Louisiana 291-285-294 - 870 +6; T8. Houston 288-290-294 - 872 +8; T8. Texas State 295-282-295 - 872 +8; 10. South Alabama 283-294-297 - 874 +10; 11. Illinois 287-297-301 - 885 +21; 12. Southern Mississippi 299-288-299 - 886 +22; T13. Kansas 297-284-306 - 887 +23; T13. Texas-San Antonio 294-293-300 - 887 +23; 15. NC State 289-295-309 - 893 +29.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 216)
1. Andrew Presley, LSU, 68-68-70 - 206 -10; 2. Sang Yi, LSU, 71-67-71 - 209 -7; 3. Philipp Fendt, Louisiana-Lafayette, 73-68-69 - 210 -6; T4. Luke Guthrie, Illinois, 69-71-72 - 212 -4; T4. Matt Mabrey, Tulsa, 73-68-71 - 212 -4; T6. Jack Belote, Memphis, 67-73-73 - 213 -3; T6. Juan Carlos Benitez, Texas State, 74-67-72 - 213 -3; T6. James Ross, Houston, 71-69-73 - 213 -3; T6. Rhys West, Southeastern Louisiana, 72-68-73 - 213 -3; T10. Grant Milner, Memphis, 69-70-75 - 214 -2; T10. Ryan Werre, Texas-San Antonio, 72-70-72 - 214 -2.
1. Andrew Presley, 68-68-70 - 206 -10
2. Sang Yi, LSU, 71-67-71 - 209 -7
T12. Landon Lyons, 71-72-72 - 215 -1
T32. Austin Gutgsell, 73-72-74 - 219 +3
T32. Stewart Jolly, 74-73-72 - 219 +3
T44. Franco Castro, 74-70-77 - 221 +5*
T47. Smylie Kaufman, 72-75-75 - 222 +6*
T79. Myles Lewis, 74-78-79 - 231 +15*
* - Indicates player competing as an individual.