SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Fueled by a record-setting tournament score and first collegiate title by sophomore All-American Luis Gagne, the No. 7-ranked LSU Men’s Golf team posted a team-record score of its own to take home a five-shot victory at the inaugural Maui Jim Intercollegiate after Sunday’s final round at Mirabel Golf Club.
The Tigers added a team score of 14-under par 270 in the final round to their 270 in Friday’s first round and 13-under 271 in Saturday’s second round to finish with a 54-hole total of 41-under par 811 for the tournament. It was five shots better than Baylor’s 36-under 816 for second place and 17 shots in front of first-round leader Kent State’s 24-under 828 in third place.
Kansas followed in fourth place at 15-under 837, while SEC rival South Carolina finished in fifth place at 13-under 839 and Georgia Tech also broke par at 8-under 844 for sixth place in the final standings.
Gagne made it a clean sweep for LSU as he took home his first career individual title with a three-round total of 17-under par 196 to finish two shots clear of South Carolina’s Scott Stevens at the top of the leaderboard. He closed out the championship with a bogey-free round of 5-under 66 after firing back-to-back career-lows of 6-under 66 in both the first and second rounds.
“I’m really proud of the guys for coming out here and taking a good step forward as a team from our first event to this,” said LSU head coach Chuck Winstead of his team’s victory. “It was a really solid week for all of our guys all the way through the lineup. We’re obviously very happy for Luis and the way he played, but the same can be said for every one of those guys wearing the LSU uniform this weekend.
“We’re pleased with our progress early on. We want to take what we did here and continue to show improvement week-to-week. We’ll be excited to get back for our home event coming up in a couple of weeks.”
When the Tigers opened their 2016 spring season by winning the team title at The Prestige at PGA West with a final score of 26-under par 826, they eclipsed their previous school-record score of 21-under par set in the team’s fourth-place finish in the same event in 2015. They raised the bar by another 15 strokes this weekend at Mirabel Golf Club.
By winning their first team championship of the 2016 fall season at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate with their 41-under par 811, the Tigers posted the lowest 54-hole tournament score as a team since at least 1985.
The 2015 NCAA Champions are off to a flying start this fall as they won their first team title of the year and the 26th team championship in 12 seasons under head coach Chuck Winstead after opening the season claiming fourth place at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic two weeks ago. LSU’s overall record now stands at 25-3 through its opening two events of 2016-17.
Gagne Wins First Collegiate Title
Gagne proved to be a catalyst in LSU’s return to NCAA match play for the third-straight season last spring when he cashed in on three top-five and four top-20 finishes in his six spring starts with Honorable Mention All-America honors to highlight his freshman season. His best finish in a 54-hole event came at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational where he tied for third place with a final score of 1-under par.
He claimed his first collegiate championship on Sunday afternoon with a record-setting performance at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate to become LSU’s 18th individual champion during Winstead’s tenure.
Gagne’s winning effort of 17-under par 196 in three rounds played at Mirabel Golf Club not only smashed his previous tournament best of 1-under par posted three times last spring, but also eclipsed the previous best tournament score in a 54-hole event by any LSU Tiger since 1985 by five strokes. Zach Wright at the 2016 Prestige at PGA West and John Peterson at the 2009 Gary Koch Invitational both shot 12-under par in 54 holes of their respective career bests for the program’s previous best.
Gagne fired a bogey-free round of 5-under 66 on Sunday to close out a weekend in which he carded just two bogeys along with one eagle and 17 birdies in 54 holes played at the par-71 Mirabel Golf Club.
Burns Back in Top 10
After finishing his freshman season in 2015-16 without a top-10 finish to his name in a 54-hole event, All-American Sam Burns has been quick out of the blocks in his sophomore season as he claimed his second-straight Top 10 with an eighth-place finish this weekend. He finished at 7-under par with a three-day total of 206 that included a 3-under 68 in the final round.
Burns, who tied for sixth place in LSU’s season opener at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic two weeks ago, is now a cumulative 15-under par with a scoring average of 69.0 strokes per round in six rounds this fall.
Quality Shines Throughout Lineup
Each of the five members of LSU’s lineup finished among the Top 20 of the leaderboard at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate this weekend as Gagne and Burns were followed by senior Brandon Pierce in a tie for ninth place, sophomore Nathan Jeansonne in a tie for 13th place and senior Eric Ricard in a tie for 18th place overall.
Pierce matched Gagne’s effort with a bogey-free 5-under 66 of his own Sunday as he birdied the par-four third and fourth holes on the front nine and par-four 10th, par-four 15th and par-five 17th holes on the back nine to tie for the team’s low round of the day. He tied for ninth place overall at 6-under par for the championship after also posting a 1-under 70 on Friday and even-par 71 on Saturday.
Jeansonne and Ricard both broke par with matching scores of 1-under 70 in the final round as Jeansonne tied for 13th place at 5-under 208 and Ricard followed in a tie for 18th place at 2-under 211 for the weekend. Also, senior Rhyne Jones tied for 52nd place in the final standings while playing as an individual with a total of 6-over 219, including a 2-over 73 on Sunday.
The Tigers return home to The University Club in Baton Rouge in two weeks to defend their team title at the eighth-annual David Toms Intercollegiate from Oct. 8-9. They continue their 2016 fall season at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in Alpharetta from Oct. 21-23 before making their debut appearance at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic at Ka’anapali Golf Club in Lahaina, Hawaii, from Nov. 4-6.
MAUI JIM INTERCOLLEGIATE – FINAL ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 852)
1. LSU 270-271-270 – 811 -41; 2. Baylor 269-276-271 – 816 -36; 3. Kent State 264-279-285 – 828 -24; 4. Kansas 270-288-279 – 837 -15; 5. South Carolina 273-276-290 – 839 -13; 6. Georgia Tech 280-276-288 – 844 -8; 7. Houston 281-280-292 – 853 +1; 8. California 285-284-289 – 858 +6; 9. Augusta 289-282-288 – 859 +7; 10. South Florida 290-282-289 – 861 +9; 11. UAB 279-301-284 – 864 +12; 12. Georgia State 285-284-303 – 872 +20; 13. Chattanooga 286-294-296 – 876 +24; 14. Notre Dame 288-291-298 – 877 +25; 15. Grand Canyon 291-286-304 – 881 +29; 16. Hawaii 290-309-310 – 909 +57.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 213)
1. Luis Gagne, LSU, 65-65-66 – 196 -17; 2. Scott Stevens, South Carolina, 65-67-66 – 198 -15; 3. Garrett May, Baylor, 66-69-66 – 201 -12; T4. Hunter Shattuck, Baylor, 68-69-65 – 202 -11; T4. Braden Bailey, Baylor, 66-67-69 – 202 -11; 6. Chase Hanna, Kansas, 67-68-68 – 203 -10; 7. 7. Ian Holt, Kent State, 65-70-70 – 205 -8; 8. Sam Burns, LSU, 67-71-68 – 206 -7; T9. Brandon Pierce, LSU, 70-71-66 – 207 -6; T9. Chris Petefish, Georgia Tech, 68-67-72 – 207 -6; T9. Chase Johnson, Kent State, 67-70-70 – 207 -6; T9. Collin Morikawa, California, 71-66-70 – 207 -6.
1. Luis Gagne, 65-65-66 – 196 -17
8. Sam Burns, 67-71-68 – 206 -7
T9. Brandon Pierce, 70-71-66 – 207 -6
T13. Nathan Jeansonne, 68-70-70 – 208 -5
T18. Eric Ricard, 76-65-70 – 211 -2
T52. Rhyne Jones, 71-75-73 – 219 +6*
* - Indicates player competing as an individual.