'Cats come out hot in first tournament of the season

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Marisa Favero | The Daily Wildcat

Arizona men's golf participates in the season qualifier.

After three rounds of golf at the William H. Tucker Invitational the Arizona men’s golf team finished in third place out of 17 teams in their first tournament of the season. The ‘Cats finished with an overall team score of 878 putting them at 14 over par for the tournament, resulting in their best finish at the Tucker Invitational since the 2004-2005 season.

The tournament took place over the course of two days in Albuquerque, N.M. After two rounds on Friday, Sept. 22 the tournament ended with one final round Saturday, Sept. 23.

“We had a good start to our season today, being our first rounds of the year, we were impressed by our team's composure in challenging conditions and their ability to remain disciplined. We had only two scores worse than bogey on a very tough course in very windy conditions,” Arizona head coach Jim Anderson said to Arizona Athletics.

Senior George Cunningham, sophomore Brad Reeves, freshman Trevor Werbylo, junior Dylan Stein and sophomore David Laskin counted as the five-man team for the Wildcats. Senior Toppie Hogan, junior Travis Fredborg and freshman Tianlang Guan competed in the tournament as individuals.

Cunningham had the hot hand of the tournament placing first overall in the individual scores. Cunningham finished the last round of the tournament with a 69 (three under par) and an overall score of 208 putting him at 8 under par over the course of three rounds. Cunningham finished in first the Tucker Invitational for the first time in his collegiate career and set a new career low as well.

“Everything was on today especially my putting which is what is difficult out here, in the wind during the second round I was able to manage the hard holes and make some putts and some solid pars. I had a few other birdie putts I could've made as well but I feel good about where my game is. Happy to see our team in a position to move up tomorrow as well,” Cunningham said to Arizona Athletics.

The rest of the Wildcats were impressive as well, Fredborg finished one under par and tied for fifth place. Werbylo, in his first tournament as a Wildcat, tied for seventh with Reeves as they both finished with seven over par. Stein tied for 40th shooting nine over for the tournament, while Laskin finished tied for 61st with a final score of 13 over par.

"The composure was outstanding and we hung in there through some very tough conditions. We have a couple days to regroup as a team and we plan to use this positive momentum in our next event,” Anderson said to Arizona Athletics.

Hogan, a former Arizona club hockey player, ended the tournament tying for 72nd (15 over par) in his first tournament with the golfing team. Guan tied for 77th with a score of 16 over par.

The Wildcats finished only one shot behind second place where fellow Pac-12 members Washington finished. Brigham Young University finished in first place with a combined score of 873, only five shots ahead of the Wildcats.

Looking ahead, the men’s team heads to Portland, Ore. to compete in the NCI Invitational Sunday, Oct. 1 to Tuesday, Oct. 3.


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