BRYAN, Texas – The 25th-ranked LSU Tigers certainly saved their best for last as they captured their first team championship of the 2013-14 season in their regular-season finale with an impressive victory at the 2014 Aggie Invitational held this weekend at The Traditions Club after posting a winning score of 35-over par 899 after Sunday’s final round.
The Tigers were crowned the tournament co-champions as they matched the 16th-ranked and tournament host Texas A&M Aggies with a winning score of 35-over 899 to finish four shots clear of the rest of the field.
On a difficult Sunday for scoring at The Traditions Club, the Tigers wrapped up the event with a team score of 20-over par 308 in the final round after opening with scores of 10-over par 298 and five-over par 293 during Saturday’s action. Texas A&M erased LSU’s one-shot lead entering the final round with a 19-over par 307 as the SEC rivals finished Sunday’s finale tied atop the team standings.
Texas Tech followed four shots back in third place at 39-over 903, while No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State and No. 3-ranked California rounded out the top five in a tie for fourth place at 42-over 906.
The Tigers are certainly hitting peak form at the right time of the season with the championship season set to open in just two weeks at the 2014 SEC Men’s Golf Championships. With their win at the Aggie Invitational, they continue a run of six-straight seasons winning at least one tournament championship while capturing their 17th tournament title under the direction of head coach Chuck Winstead.
“We’ve improved as a team throughout the spring season,” Winstead said after the award’s ceremony. “It’s great to get a win in a tournament like the Aggie Invitational and continue to build momentum as we go into the postseason with the SEC Championships coming up in just a couple of weeks.”
Two Tigers cracked the Top 10 of the final leaderboard as junior All-American Curtis Thompson tied for eighth place and senior Smylie Kaufman tied for 10th place overall while setting the pace for the weekend.
Thompson fired his second-straight round of 2-over par 74 in Sunday’s finale to finish the weekend in a tie for eighth place at 7-over par 223 with California’s Shotaro Ban. Thompson earned his third top-10 finish during the 2013-14 season as he now ranks second on the team with three Top 10s in his nine tournament starts on the campaign.
Kaufman has matched Thompson with his third top-10 finish in seven tournament appearances for the Tigers this season as he tied for 10th place with five other golfers with a 54-hole tournament score of 8-over 224 at The Traditions Club. Kaufman posted a team-low 1-over par 73 in the final round to wrap up the weekend in a six-way tie for 10th place with Oklahoma State’s Ian Davis and Talor Gooch, Texas A&M’s Tyler Dunlap, Kent State’s Corey Conners and San Diego State’s Riccardo Michelini.
Tiger junior Ben Taylor added a 7-over 79 toward LSU’s team total in the final round to crack the Top 20 of the final leaderboard in a tie for 16th place at 9-over par 225 for the championship. Taylor teed off Sunday with a tie for fifth place after opening the tournament with an even-par 72 in the first round and a 2-over par 74 in the second round on Saturday.
Junior All-America hopeful Stewart Jolly saw his run of three-straight top-10 finishes come to an end by tying for 30th place in the event with a final tournament score of 15-over 231. Fellow junior Myles Lewis ended his weekend in a tie for 45th place overall with a two-day total of 20-over par 236.
California’s Brandon Hagy was the wire-to-wire winner after taking home the individual title with a 1-under 71 in the final round and a 4-under 212 in 54 holes at The Traditions Club. Hagy was one of just two golfers this weekend to break par for the championship as Texas A&M’s Greg Yates followed three shots back in sole possession of second place at 1-under par 215 for the weekend.
With the 2013-14 regular season now in the books, the Tigers will kick off the championship season on April 25-27 at the 2014 SEC Men’s Golf Championships as the tournament returns to St. Simons Island, Ga., and the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club. NCAA Regional play will follow on May 15-17 with LSU’s regional destination to be announced.
AGGIE INVITATIONAL – FINAL ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 864)
T1. LSU 298-293-308 – 899 +35; T1. Texas A&M 297-295-307 – 899 +35; 3. Texas Tech 302-295-306 – 903 +39; T4. California 302-302-302 – 906 +42; T4. Oklahoma State 300-298-308 – 906 +42; 6. Arkansas 305-301-301 – 907 +43; T7. Kent State 305-297-308 – 910 +46; T7. San Diego State 305-298-307 – 910 +46; T9. Michigan 316-303-307 – 926 +62; T9. New Mexico State 321-296-309 – 926 +62; 11. North Texas 304-313-321 – 938 +74; 12. Pacific 328-299-321 – 948 +84.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS
1. Brandon Hagy, California, 71-70-71 – 212 -4; 2. Greg Yates, Texas A&M, 74-72-69 – 215 -1; 3. Clement Sordet, Texas Tech, 74-70-73 – 217 +1; 4. Ben Crancer, Texas A&M, 71-72-76 – 219 +3; 5. Xander Schauffele, San Diego State, 76-71-74 – 221 +5; T6. Taylor Moore, Arkansas, 75-73-74 – 222 +6; T6. Wyndham Clark, Oklahoma State, 74-73-75 – 222 +6; T8. Curtis Thompson, LSU, 75-74-74 – 223 +7; T8. Shotaro Ban, California, 71-75-77 – 223 +7; T10. Smylie Kaufman, LSU, 74-77-73 – 224 +8; T10. Tyler Dunlap, Texas A&M, 78-72-74 – 224 +8; T10. Ian Davis, Oklahoma State, 73-72-79 – 224 +8; T10. Talor Gooch, Oklahoma State, 74-75-75 – 224 +8; T10. Corey Conners, Kent State, 75-73-76 – 224 +8; T10. Riccardo Michelini, San Diego State, 72-75-77 – 224 +8.