Men’s golf finishes in eighth place, but Cunningham ties for second individually at Pac-12 Championship
Arizona men’s golf wrapped up the 2017-2018 season with an eighth place finish at the Pac-12 Championships this week. The ‘Cats finished two over par after four rounds of golf at the Rolling Hills Country Club in Southern California.
USC, who hosted the event, took home this year’s Pac-12 title with a commanding performance. The Trojans ended the final round of the tournament at 31 under par. USC’s Justin Suh finished first place individually shooting 16 under par on the tournament.
Highlighting the tournament for Arizona was senior George Cunningham. The senior shot a total score of 272 (12 under par), enough to finish in a four-way tie for second place. Cunningham’s performance tied the best finish by a Wildcat at the Pac-12 Championships since Jordan Gumberg placed second in 2016. In his last Pac-12 Championships of his career as a Wildcat, Cunningham proved his ability to be one of the best golfers in college golf.
“This whole week was great, I played well everyday and had a great week. I would have like to have had the win but Justin (Suh) just out played the competition,” Cunningham said in a press release by Arizona Athletics. “I was glad to have finished out my last Pac-12 Championship with a great finish.”
Cunningham shot all four rounds of the tournament in the 60s, shooting a 67 in rounds one and two and a 69 in rounds three and four. The second place finish marked Cunningham’s fourth top-five finish on the season.
The third round of the tournament proved to be the most difficult for Arizona. The team shot an overall score of 365, which was 15 strokes higher than its previous round. The Wildcats ended day one of the tournament in fourth place shooting a team score of 351 and 350 in round two. But round three didn’t go the way the team wanted it to. Despite struggling in the third round, the ‘Cats bounced back on the final day. The team managed to solidify the number eight spot on the leaderboard by posting a score of 356.
“The guys got off to a great start and then we slowly gave a few back in the middle of the round,” Arizona head coach Jim Anderson said to Arizona Athletics. “The course was set up challenging, and I believe we can do a better job of executing as we have done much of the spring. George was exceptional and we are so happy and proud of his continued success.”
Up next in the individual leader board for Arizona was freshman Gavin Cohen, who tied for 34th place. Cohen was one of three freshmen for Arizona that traveled with the team this week. He posted his best score of the tournament in the final round, with a score of 69. Freshman Tianlang Guan for Arizona tied for 39th. Guan shined in the first and fourth round posting a 68 and 70 respectively, but his third round score of 76 hurt his overall ranking on the leaderboard.
Sophomore Brad Reeves tied for 48th place posting a 71, 72, 73 and 73 in the four rounds of play. Next for Arizona was freshman Trevor Werbylo who placed tied for 55th. Werbylo got off to a hot start by posting a 71, followed by a 69 but lost momentum in the third and final rounds, posting a 76 and 75. Finally to round the tournament out for the ‘Cats was sophomore David Laskin. Laskin tied for 69th in an uncharacteristic week for him, just one week ago Laksin placed fifth at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational but couldn’t find a hot streak this week.
While the 2017-2018 schedule is officially over for the ‘Cats, the team has a chance to qualify for NCAA Regionals. Selections for Regionals will be made on May 2 at 2:30 p.m. If Arizona qualifies, it will be the first time since the 2012-2013 season that UA men’s golf qualified for Regionals.