1.) Without Peter Uihlein, Oklahoma State won The Ameri Ari Invitational, finishing five shots clear of Texas and six shots better than top-ranked UCLA. The Cowboys, which entered the event ranked No. 2, moved into the top spot in college golf this week. Oklahoma State placed three golfers in the top 10 with Kevin Tway leading the way.
Tway posted rounds of 67-66-72 to finish just two shots from a playoff for medalist honors. Tway, a senior, often gets overlooked when discussing Cowboy golf. Uihlein and Morgan Hoffmann’s names are mentioned quickly, but Tway just may insert himself into Player of the Year talks and wind up being the key player if Oklahoma State is to win a national championship this year.
2.) It took seven extra holes for Oregon’s Daniel Miernicki to outlast Bobby Hudson of Texas and Patrick Cantlay of UCLA to win The Amer Ari. I’m sure it was exciting and an experience each will reflect on at some point in their golfing career, but it also goes in the books as a tie. For scoring purposes, the NCAA does not recognize playoffs. I wonder if Texas and UCLA will count them as W’s?
2nd – Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invite
T-5 – Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate
1st – Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
1st – JU Invitational
3.) Florida’s Bank Vongvanij entered the spring season ranked No. 2 in college golf and turned a few heads with his outstanding play last fall. The winter break apparently did not slow his momentum. The senior opened his spring season with consecutive rounds of 69 and closed with a 73 to win the Jacksonville University Invitational. The victory is his second consecutive victory – he closed the fall with a win at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational.
4.) Desperately needing head-to-head wins, Arizona tallied a 9-3-2 record at its own Arizona Intercollegiate with a T-5 finish. Good thing the Wildcats did not have to count a loss to the other Wildcats.
Arizona also entered a jayvee or a “B” squad that managed to finish in a tie for third place. I’m not really sure how to take this. Should we laugh that a school ranked 87th plays a second team that beats the likes of its varsity team in competition and a top-20 team in California? Or do we call it bogus because these guys are really varsity-level players? Arizona could simply enter them as individuals.
5.) Florida easily won the JU Invitational at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium course last week. The Gators cruised to a 25-shot victory over runner-up North Florida. However, the biggest winner might have been Liberty. The Flames continue to make their case for being the Cinderella story this year in college golf. Liberty tied Jacksonville State, which also is having an very good year, for third place, finishing ahead of a pair of big name ACC golf schools in Wake Forest and Clemson. Liberty is closing in on the top 40, ranked No. 41 this week in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.