LAHAINA, Maui – Not since Tommie Mudd at the 1985 LSU Invitational had an LSU Tiger fired 9-under par in a single round until sophomore All-American Sam Burns lit up Ka’anapali Golf Club with a bogey-free 9-under par 62 in Sunday’s final round to lead the third-ranked Tigers to third place at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic.
Burns, who teed off Sunday morning in a tie for 12th place on the leaderboard, moved himself into second place in the final standings with a 54-hole score of 13-under par 200 to finish two shots off the pace.
With senior All-American Brandon Pierce firing a bogey-free round of his own with a 4-under 67 and sophomore All-American Luis Gagne carding a 3-under 68 and sophomore Nathan Jeansonne adding a counting total of even-par 71, the Tigers wrapped up the weekend with a team score of 16-under par 268 to also finish just two shots back in third place in the final team standings at 24-under par 282.
The Clemson Tigers were crowned this year’s Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic Champions with their winning score of 26-under 826, including a 20-under 264 in the final round, while the Georgia Bulldogs followed in second place at 25-under 827 for the championship. Rounding out the Top 5 of the final team standings were Oklahoma in fourth place at 18-under par 834 and South Carolina in fifth place at 12-under par 840.
Burns, the nation’s No. 7-ranked player in the latest Golfstat individual power rankings, was two strokes shy of winning his second tournament title as he trailed only Clemson’s Doc Redman on the final leaderboard.
Burns Fires LSU’s 31-Year Low
Burns fired out of the gate in Sunday’s final round with birdies on three of his first four and four of his first six holes as he quickly found himself at 4-under par on his round with birdies at the par-five first, par-four third and fourth and par-five sixth holes. He then turned at 6-under par thanks to an eagle 3 at the par-five ninth hole to shoot 31 on the front nine.
Burns carried that momentum onto the back nine where he collected three more birdies at the par-four 10th, par-four 13th and par-four 18th holes to finish with the lowest round of his collegiate career and lowest score by an LSU Tiger in the last 31 years since Mudd shot a 9-under 63 at the 1985 LSU Invitational tournament.
The Shreveport native has shown the form of a First-Team All-American with five top-10 finishes in five starts this fall while dropping his scoring average to a team-leading 69.40 strokes per round through Sunday.
Burns closed out the fall season with a narrow runner-up finish at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic after also tying for sixth place at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic, taking eighth at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate, tying for the top spot at the David Toms Intercollegiate and tying for ninth place overall at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate.
Pierce Earns Third Top 10
Pierce cracked the Top 10 of the final leaderboard for the third time in his last four tournament appearances as he posted a 54-hole score of 9-under par 204 this weekend to tie for eighth place in the event held on the Ka’anapali Royal Course. He also tied for ninth place at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate on Sept. 25 and tied Burns, Gagne and senior teammate Eric Ricard for first place at the David Toms Intercollegiate on Oct. 9.
Like Burns, Pierce opened his final round with a birdie at the par-five first hole and never looked back as he also birdied Nos. 6, 9 and 16 for a bogey-free 4-under 67 en route to a season-low 9-under 204.
Gagne Bounces Back
Gagne bounced back from his 3-over 74 in Friday’s first round and 5-over 76 in Saturday’s second round to fire a 3-under 68 in the final round to help lead the Tigers to a team score of 16-under par 268 on the day. It’s a round that moved 29 spots up the final leaderboard as he closed out the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic in a tie for 60th place overall at 5-over par for the weekend.
Jeansonne cracked the Top 20 of the final standings with his score of 3-under par 210 for the weekend, while Ricard closed out the event with a 2-over 73 on Sunday for a 54-hole total of 7-over 220 to tie for 72nd place.
With the 2016 fall season now in the books, the Tigers will break for winter before returning to action in their 2017 spring season opener while defending their team title at The Prestige at PGA West being held Feb. 20-22 at PGA West’s Greg Norman Course in La Quinta, California. They will follow with an appearance at the Louisiana Classics at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette on Feb. 27-28.
KA’ANAPALI COLLEGIATE CLASSIC – FINAL ROUND RESULTS
TEAM SCORES (Par 852)
1. Clemson 284-278-264 – 826 -26; 2. Georgia 284-266-277 – 827 -25; 3. LSU 283-277-268 – 828 -24; 4. Oklahoma 290-271-273 – 834 -18; 5. South Carolina 282-280-278 – 840 -12; 6. Kansas 295-267-279 – 841 -11; 7. North Florida 287-282-275 – 844 -8; T8. Georgia State 299-280-275 – 854 +2; T8. UC-Santa Barbara 287-283-284 – 854 +2; 10. Loyola Marymount 302-272-283 – 857 +5; T11. Minnesota 297-277-284 – 858 +6; T11. Gonzaga 293-289-276 – 858 +6; 13. Houston 294-283-283 – 860 +8; 14. UNC-Wilmington 296-292-275 – 863 +11; 15. Texas-San Antonio 301-282-284 – 867 +15; 16. Long Beach State 310-279-279 – 868 +18; T17. Sacramento State 301-285-285 – 871 +19; T17. Boise State 299-287-285 – 871 +19; T19. Ball State 296-293-289 – 878 +26; T19. Hawaii 295-296-287 – 878 +26; T19. Cal State Northridge 306-286-286 – 878 +26; 22. Cal State Fullerton 303-292-291 – 886 +34; 23. Bowling Green 304-294-289 – 887 +35; 24. Hawaii-Hilo 315-299-294-908 +56.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (Par 213)
1. Doc Redman, Clemson, 66-68-64 – 198 -15; 2. Sam Burns, LSU, 68-70-62 – 200 -13; 3. Greyson Sigg, Georgia, 69-64-68 – 201 -12; T4. Blaine Hale, Oklahoma, 70-66-66 – 202 -11; T4. Travis Trace, North Florida, 72-66-64 – 202 -11; T6. Chase Hanna, Kansas, 72-61-70 – 203 -10; T6. Scott Stevens, South Carolina, 71-65-67 – 203 -10; T8. Brandon Pierce, LSU, 69-68-67 – 204 -9; T8. Spencer Ralston, Georgia, 72-64-68 – 204 -9; T10. Andres Gonzalez, Long Beach State, 72-67-66 – 205 -8; T10. Andy Spencer, Kansas, 72-68-65 – 205 -8.