UA men’s golf competes in Oregon for the Nike Golf Collegiate Invite
Senior George Cunningham golfs during the Wildcats' season qualifier on Sept. 15.
The University of Arizona Men’s Golf team traveled to North Plains, Ore. to compete in the Nike Golf Collegiate Invite on Friday, Sept. 29. The tournament featured three rounds of play starting early Sunday morning with the final round finishing at about 4 p.m. Tuesday evening. With the ‘Cats competing on the road for the second straight week the team had to adjust from playing in the desert landscape of New Mexico to the tall pine trees and lush landscape of Oregon.
Senior George Cunningham, junior Travis Fredborg, sophomore David Laskin, sophomore Brad Reeves, and freshman Trevor Werbylo made up the five-man team for Arizona. All five players were part of last week’s roster at the William H. Tucker Invitational in New Mexico that helped the ‘Cats finish third overall.
At the end of three rounds of golf, 54 holes, in Oregon the Wildcats placed 13th overall with a total team score of 863 (+11). After the first 18 holes of the tournament the ‘Cats finished in 10th place with a team score of 285 (one over par). Sophomore Brad Reeves led the way for the ‘Cats in round one posting a 68.
"As a team we kept to the game plan and had chances all day, if we could have cleaned up the finishing holes with a few guys today, we would have been right there. [Reeves] did a great job of remaining patient. He was hitting great shots all day and not until the end was he rewarded." Arizona head coach Jim Anderson said to Arizona Athletics after round one.
Monday, Oct. 2 the ‘Cats took the course for the second round of play with Reeves teeing off first for Arizona. The ‘Cats struggled, dropping two spots in the leaderboard and finished tied for 12th place. Despite the team dropping two spots, Werbylo gave momentum to the team posting a one under 70 bouncing back after his round one score of 82.
"Trevor's round today was impressive as he demonstrated great trust in his team and coaches, he is a great player and having a freshman shoot under par under any circumstances is very much a positive." Coach Anderson said to Arizona Athletics.
On Tuesday, the NCI Invitational wrapped up with the final round of play. Arizona posted a final round team score of 288, +4 on the day and +11 for the tournament.
“ We made a few mistakes that led to big numbers and our putting was not as strong this week, we will address this in our qualifying and preparations for our next tourney. We struggled this week, but we believe in each other and know great finishes are ahead," said Anderson to Arizona Athletics
In the final round, Sophomore Brad Reeves led the way for the ‘Cats again finishing tied for 23rd in a field of 75 players. Reeves birdie six holes, including the ninth hole, a 498-yard par four. Reeves posted a final round score of 69 (2 under par) enough to move eight spots up in the individual player leaderboard.
Cunningham was second amongst the ‘Cats finishing tied for 38th place. Cunningham posted his best score of the tournament in round one with a 70 followed by a 73 in round two and 72 in the final round.
Laskin finished in 54th place posting a final round score of 73 with four birdies on the day. Laskin posted his best score in round one as well with a 72 followed by a 73 in round two and three.
Fredborg tied for 62nd place with an overall score of 225. Fredborg posted his best score of the tournament on Tuesday with a 74. Finishing up the five-man team for Arizona Werbylo who tied for 68th. Werbylo struggled in round one posting an 82, but bounced back with a round two score of 70.
The Wildcats teed up against 14 other teams from around the nation including fellow Pac-12 members Oregon, Washington, Stanford and USC at the NCI Invitational. Arizona had their hands full as they played against eight teams ranked in the NCAA top-25 for Division I. Tiger Woods was in attendance and talked to the Oregon team Monday.
On the final round, Oklahoma and Stanford were tied for first place with four holes to play. At the end of the day, Oklahoma came out on top of the leaderboard by shooting 8 under par for the day as a team and took first place in Oregon. Stanford finished three shots behind Oklahoma with Vanderbilt taking third place.
Looking ahead the Wildcats will travel to Windermere, Florida to compete in the Tavistock Invitational Sunday, Oct. 22.
Follow Cory Kennedy on Twitter