Tigers Finish Second, One Shot Back, in Rain-Shortened Rice Intercollegiate
Feb. 8, 2005
Houston, Texas - The Memphis men's golf team was almost able to rally back from a deficit entering the final round to win another tournament, but in the end came up one stroke shy of tying for first. The Tigers, who began the day tied for fourth place at 12-over par, shot a final round score of three-under 285 in the final round of the Rice Intercollegiate, tied for the lowest team score of the day, to finish at nine-over 585 (300-285). It was the fourth subpar round of the year for the team.
However, the team that they tied with for lowest round of the day, North Texas, began the day one stroke ahead of the Tigers in third place and also shot a 285 on the day to finish one stroke ahead of Memphis at eight-over 584 (299-285) and claim the team title in Houston at the Wildcat Golf Course. The tournament was shortened to two rounds after rain forced the cancellation of the second round scheduled for yesterday.
"We had our chances but we didn't play well on last few holes," said Memphis coach Grant Robbins. "We particularly didn't play the par 5s very well today especially down the stretch."
The Tigers finished two strokes ahead of third-place Sam Houston State, which had began the day in first place. Texas-Arlington and Nebraska rounded out the top five, four and nine strokes behind Memphis, respectively.
Individually for the Tigers, Keven Fortin-Simard carded a final round two-under 70 to finish in a six-way tie for fourth place at even par 144 (74-70). He finished three strokes back of the individual medalist, Anthony Broussard of North Texas, shot a two-day total of three-under 141 (71-70). For Fortin-Simard, it is his third top five finish of the year and his fourth top 10 performance.
Three other Tiger golfers finished in a four-way tie for 15th place. Allan Thomas carded a final round 71 to finish at three-over 147 (76-71). Ian Rochester also shot a final round 71 to go with his first round 76 while Andy Shiels shot a final round 73 to go with his first round of 74. Clayton Ellis improved on his first round score by firing a 76 to finish at 12-over 156 (80-76).
"We really put ourselves in bad situation after first round. We have to figure out a way to quit starting so slow, especially if a tournament gets shortened like this one did, which equalizes the field a bit more," said Robbins. "However, this wasn't a bad way to start the spring. It is hard to win college tournaments and to finish second while not playing our best shows what we are capable of when we get things going."
Memphis will take about a month off before returning to action next when the Tigers travel to the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands to play in the St. Croix Collegiate Classic hosted by Xavier University March 4-5 at the Carambola Golf Club.