Men's golf finishes Arizona Invitational Tournament in seventh place

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Courtesy of Arizona Athletics 

Arizona men's golfer Henry Cunningham observes the outcome of his shot during Arizona's seventh-place (865, 13) performance during the Arizona Intercollegiate Tournament from Jan. 26-27. ASU won the AIT with a score of 12 under par.

Arizona men’s golf opened up the 2015 spring season at home as the Wildcats hosted the Arizona Intercollegiate Tournament at Sewailo Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday. The Wildcats completed three rounds in two days and ended the event finishing in seventh place (+13).

Arizona finished on a positive note after a sluggish opening round on Monday. The Wildcats struggled in the first round heading into the break tied for 10th (+10) with McNeese State. Once the second round started and the rain stopped, the Wildcats were better — 16 shots better.

“I liked the way we competed today,” Arizona men’s golf coach Jim Anderson said. “Our guys showed great maturity. We played our best round of the season.”

Despite shooting a 73 (+2) in the first round, the Wildcats were lead by George Cunningham, who finished the tournament tied for 13th place scoring a 213 (E).

“George is just a great player,” Anderson said. “Even though he’s just a freshman, he has great mechanics and skills that make him look like a veteran.”

Cunningham earned three birdies in the front nine of the third round but stumbled in the back nine earning one birdie and a triple-bogey on the 11th hole. The freshman couldn’t find momentum after birdying on the 12th hole and finished the final six holes even at par.

“I did fairly well on the front nine, but as the third round progressed, I wasn’t showing confidence in my putts today,” Cunningham said. “I got a few birdies, but I couldn’t get any momentum.”

Cunningham was also the only Wildcat other than Brenden Redfern to shoot under par on the back nine in the second round. 

Redfern shot a 143 (+1) and even earned an eagle on the 16th hole in the second round, which was a Par 4. Redfern ended the tournament tied for 21st place and shot three over par.

Alex McMahon struggled on the back nine for the first two rounds as the senior bogeyed four times and triple-bogeyed on a par 5 to open up the back nine on hole 10.

“Alex did struggle early on, but he picked it up and finished the second round even,” Anderson said. “He is a senior, and the guys look up to him, so we expect a lot from him.”

The Wildcats finished third in pars, earning a total of 171 pars in the tournament, and shot 10 over par on par 4s. Pac-12 Conference rival ASU won the tournament after shooting a total score of 840 (-12), and the defending Arizona Intercollegiate champions, California, tied for fourth place with Iowa State, shooting an 857 (+5).

The Wildcats’ next event is the John Burns Invitational in Lihue, Hawaii, from Feb. 18-19.

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