BATON ROUGE – Four LSU Tiger golfers tied for medalist honors as LSU easily walked away with the team title in the annual David Toms Intercollegiate Sunday at the University Club.
Sam Burns, Eric Ricard, Brandon Pierce and Luis Gagne all finished 54 holes at 1-under par 215 and tournament officials declared them quad-medalists rather than decide the title by a playoff. There were lots of great golf in the final holes as the four Tigers, all playing in the same wave, but in different threesomes had their own route to the tie.
The Chuck Winstead and his Tigers, ranked fourth in the polls and No. 2 in the Golfweek performance chart, as a team put their hands all around the trophy in the first round Saturday with a 9-under 279 total and finished off Sunday with a 6-under 282 to shoot 11-under 853 for the event, 35 shots ahead of second place North Texas at 24-over par 888. McNeese State was in the top three the entire event, finishing at 27-over 891. Louisiana Tech and Louisiana Lafayette finished T5 at 50-over 914 with ULM seventh at 52-over and Southeastern at 54-over in the 14-team field.
“This golf course played as hard this weekend as it has ever played for any of our events,” Winstead said. “It was firm and fast and the wind blew 10-15 miles per hour. The hole locations were as challenging as ever. Yea, when you have four guys finish at the top … I’ve never seen that done. I’ve never had a team have that happen and I’m very proud of the guys. All fall they have had the right mindset and the right kind of edge about what they want to accomplish. So it’s always fun when you work hard and the guys can see that kind of success.”
But it was final round that had many combination of leaders that made the final 18 holes very interesting, especially in the final hour of play.
Here’s some of the road that each of the LSU golfers traveled to get to a final winning score of 1-under on a day when the final round started with Gagne, Pierce and Nathan Jeansonne leading at 2-under, Ricard T6 at +2 and Burns T10 +4.
Burns – For his first college title, the freshman from Shreveport started on the third hole at the U-Club in the shotgun start and he came out hot with birdies on three-of-the-first four holes. His lone bogey came on the par 4 10th, but then after a great drive on No. 12, threw in a long approach shot for eagle to get back to even par for the tournament and moved to 1-under with a birdie on the par 5 17th. Three more pars on 18, 1 and 2 put him in at -1 (round of 67 Sunday).
Ricard -- Also a mover on the final day, starting on the same hole at as Burns. But Ricard, the senior from Shreveport who won the tournament a year ago at -10, bogeyed the par five third hole and then birdied the fourth. Birdies at 10, 11 and 14 put him to 1-under. But it took a great save on the 17th hole, the par 5, 528-yarder, as he hit his tee shot out-of-bounds, but then was able to hit two fabulous shots and a putt to get a par and finish out at -1 (69 Sunday).
Gagne – A winner for the second straight tournament for LSU, the sophomore from Orlando, opened the first hole with a double bogey and but had birdies the rest of the way, including a key birdie on the 17th hole, the par 5, and that was what got him to 1-under after a round of 1-over 73.
Pierce – Started the tournament with a 6-under 66 but it was his ability to hang tough when the U-Club was causing havoc that allowed him to share in the win. The senior from Covington struggled on the front nine with four bogeys, turning at 40, but had three birdies in the final four holes, including both the 17th and the most difficult scoring hole of the round, the 458-yard 18th hole to shoot 73 and get to 1-under for the tournament.
“If you knew what all was going on out there,” Winstead said after his 27th team title, second straight, at LSU. “Eric (Ricard) hits it out of bounds on 17 and makes eagle with his second ball to make par. He made a 20-footer on his last hole. You had Eric Gagne just really playing hard coming in and Brandon Pierce birdies 17 and 18. Sam shoots 67 to get in the mix. They all played great golf. They’re all All-Americans. All four of them. It’s not a surprise they played the way they played. But it is certainly gratifying, especially for them, to be able to come down the stretch and play well.”
Jeansonne picked up a top ten in T7 at 5-over 221. McNeese’s Daniel O’Loughlin finished fifth, two out of the tie at 1-over 217 after a final round 71 (70-76-71) and he was one of those in a tie for the lead over the final back nine of play in the event.
LSU has two more events in the fall portion of the schedule and the Tigers will next go to the Country Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Oct. 21-23.
David Toms Intercollegiate
The University Club-Baton Rouge, La.
Final Team Standings (Par 288-864)
1. LSU 279-292-282 – 853 -11; 2. North Texas 295-298-295 – 888 +24; 3. McNeese State 292-302-297 – 891 +27; 4. South Alabama 294-303-300 – 897 +33; T5. Louisiana Tech 297-312-305 – 914 +50; T5. Louisiana Lafayette 308-303-303 – 914 +50; 7. ULM 296-314-306 – 916 +52; 8. Southeastern 312-303 -303 – 918 +54; 9. Central Arkansas 298-317-308 – 923 +59; T10. Penn 303-311-310 – 924 +60; T10. DePaul 301-317-306 – 924 +60; 12. Western Carolina 296-318-313 – 927 +63; 13. Southern Illinois 301-310-323 – 934 +70; 14. Navy 323-319-323 – 965 +101.
Final Individual Standings (Par 72-216) (Note: Quad-Champions Declared)
T1. Brandon Pierce, LSU, 66-76-73 – 215 -1; T1. Eric Ricard, LSU, 71-75-69 – 215 -1; T1. Luis Gagne, 73-69-73 – 215 -1; T1. Sam Burns, 72-76-67 –215 -1; 5. Daniel O’Louglin, McNeese, 70-76-71 – 217 +1; 6. Ian Snyman, North Texas, 73-75-72 – 220 +4; T7. Josh Goldenberg, Penn, 66-77-78 – 221 +5; T7. Nathan Jeansonne, LSU, 70-72-79 – 221 +5; T7. Devin Jackson, North Texas, 73-75-73 – 221 +5; T7. Rasmus Karlsson, South Alabama, 73-75-73 – 221 +%.
T1. Brandon Pierce 66-76-73 – 215 -1
T1. Eric Ricard 71-75-69 – 215 -1
T1. Luis Gagne 73-69-73 – 215 -1
T1. Sam Burns 72-76-67 – 215 -1
T7. Nathan Jeansonne 70-72-79 – 221 +5
T22. Rhyne Jones 76-76-75 – 227 +11
T34. Blake Caldwell 79-81-70 – 230 +14
40. Carter Toms 76-78-78 – 232 +16
76. Drew Gonzales 86-86-92 – 264 +48