LA QUINTA, Calif. – Led by a 5-under par 67 from junior Ben Taylor and a 4-under par 68 from junior Curtis Thompson, the LSU Men’s Golf team wrapped up this year’s Prestige at PGA West by firing its best round of the week at 5-under par 279 in Wednesday’s final round to finish in fourth place in the event held at the Greg Norman Course.
The Tigers closed strong in their opening tournament of the 2014 spring season while playing the final two rounds at 8-under par en route to a fourth-place finish with a final score of 6-under par 846.
The Tigers broke par for 54 holes for the first time during the 2013-14 season after entering the tournament with a best score of even-par 864 at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic to open the fall season.
Thompson and Taylor set the pace for the squad in three days at PGA West’s Greg Norman Course as each earned his first top-10 finish of the year with Thompson tying for fourth place at 6-under 207 and Taylor tying for seventh place at 4-under 209. Fellow junior Stewart Jolly also cracked the Top 20 on the final leaderboard as he tied for 16th place at 1-under par 212, including an even-par 71 in the final round.
After making the turn at 1-over par on his round, Taylor caught fire on the back nine while making five birdies over his final nine holes to finish with a team-low 4-under 67 for the tourney. He dipped into red figures for the first time with birdies at the par-four 10th and par-five 12th holes before reeling off three-straight birdies at the par-four 15th, par-five 16th and par-three 17th holes to cap his round.
Taylor, who tied for 45th place at the David Toms Intercollegiate in his only appearance of the fall season, earned his first top-10 finish as an LSU Tiger while climbing into a tie for seventh place on the final leaderboard.
Thompson sandwiched an even-par 71 in the second round between matching scores of 3-under 68 in the first round and final round to finish as the top Tiger in a tie for fourth place for the tournament. After making a bogey at the par-four sixth and a birdie at the par-five eighth to turn at even-par, Thompson birdied the 11th, 12th and 17th holes on the back nine to finish off a 3-under par 68 during Wednesday’s action.
Jolly earned his third top-20 finish in five tournament appearances for the Tigers this season as he tied for 16th place on the leaderboard at 1-under par 212 for 54 holes. The nation’s No. 39-ranked player followed his 1-under 70 in the opening round with back-to-back scores of even-par 71 in his spring opener.
Sophomore Zach Wright added a 2-over par 73 toward LSU’s team total in Wednesday’s final round to finish the event in a tie for 43rd place at 5-over par 218. Freshman Eric Ricard rounded out LSU’s five-man lineup by finishing in 63rd place with a 54-hole score of 13-over par 226, including his lowest score of the weekend at 3-over 74 in the final round.
Just when it seemed like the Stanford Cardinal would run away with the team title after teeing off in the final round with a commanding 14-shot lead, the Washington Huskies made it a two-horse race for the crown as they fired a tournament-best 14-under par 270 during Wednesday’s action to close the gap to just two shots down the stretch. Stanford led wire-to-wire while finishing with a 2-under par 282 in the final round, and 21-under par 831 over three rounds for the victory. Washington followed just two strokes back in second place at 19-under par 833.
The UCLA Bruins trailed in third place at 11-under par 841 in the final team standings, while Arizona State and Texas Tech rounded out the top five in a tie for fifth place at even-par 852 for the championship.
Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers also led wire-to-wire as he followed his 6-under 65 in the first round and 3-under 68 in the second round with an even-par 71 in Wednesday’s final round for a winning 9-under par 204 for the individual crown. Arizona State’s Max Rottluff finished one shot back in second place at 8-under 205, followed by Washington’s Gerrit Chambers in third place at 7-under 206 in three days of action.
With the 2014 spring season now underway, the Tigers will return to action on March 2-4 with a trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to compete at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate being held at Querencia Golf Club. The team is then set to make its annual trip to Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette, La., to compete at the 29th-annual Louisiana Classics hosted by the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
PRESTIGE AT PGA WEST – FINAL ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 852)
1. Stanford 269-280-282 – 831 -21; 2. Washington 286-277-270 – 833 -19; 3. UCLA 282-286-273 – 841 -11; 4. LSU 286-281-279 – 846 -6; T5. Arizona State 290-290-272 – 852 E; T5. Texas Tech 292-282-278 – 852 E; 7. Oregon 285-281-287 – 853 +1; 8. San Diego State 280-288-286 – 854 +2; 9. Southern California 288-286-281 – 855 +3; 10. UC-Davis 291-293-279 – 863 +11; 11. Pepperdine 306-279-285 – 870 +18; 12. University of Stirling 292-289-290 – 871 +19.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 213)
1. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford, 65-68-71 – 204 -9; 2. Max Rottluff, Arizona State, 69-69-67 – 205 -8; 3. Gerrit Chambers, Washington, 74-66-66 – 206 -7; T4. Curtis Thompson, LSU, 68-71-68 – 207 -6; T4. Trevor Simsby, Washington, 72-71-64 – 207 -6; T4. Cameron Wilson, Stanford, 68-70-69 – 207 -6; T7. Ben Taylor, LSU, 74-68-67 – 209 -4; T7. Jim Liu, Stanford, 74-67-68 – 209 -4; T7. Jonathan Garrick, UCLA, 69-72-68 – 209 -4; T7. Corey Pereira, Washington, 69-70-70 – 209 -4.