Feb. 5, 2013
HOUSTON - Led by freshman Vincent Martino, four University of Houston Golf members finished among the top-10 individual leaders during the final round of the Rice Intercollegiate on Tuesday at Westwood Golf Club.
Three of the student-athletes - Martino, Blair Hamilton and Andrew Ertel - posted sub-par rounds during the final 18 holes in the 7,184-yard, par-72 course, while the team finished the event with a combined six sub-par totals, including a pair of season-low 67s.
Ertel, Hamilton and junior Bryn Flanagan recorded career-low rounds, while Flanagan, Hamilton and Martino enjoyed career-best finishes.
"We played pretty solid Monday, but we talked about staying patient and giving ourselves a chance. We played a great round Tuesday," director of golf Jonathan Dismuke said. "We had the low round of the day even with four guys, and that's pretty remarkable with three freshmen who had never seen the course."
Martino fired a career-low 67 during the final 18 holes and catapulted into a tie for fourth place in the final standings at 3-under-par 213. The Southlake, Texas, native and Carroll High product came on strong down the stretch, posting four birdies in his final six holes to lead the Cougars and earn his best finish during his young collegiate career.
"Vincent played great during the entire tournament," Dismuke said. "His pace picked up around the green, and he made some really good putts coming down the stretch."
Flanagan, who posted a career-best 67 in Monday's second round, finished sixth with a score of 214, while freshman Blair Hamilton tied for seventh at 215. The Burlington, Ontario, Canada, native recorded a 2-under-par 70 on Tuesday afternoon, his second sub-par round of the tournament.
Ertel added a 71 in the final round for his second effort below par at the two-day, 54-hole tournament and tied for 10th at 216.
With only four student-athletes competing as individuals, the Cougars did not field a complete lineup and were not eligible for the team championship. However, if the Cougars' individual scores had counted toward a team total, Houston would have finished with a score of 858, four strokes ahead of UTSA and 13 strokes better than Florida Atlantic.
"We have a really good groups of guys, guys working in the same direction and who are committed to getting this program back where it should be," Dismuke said.
Stephen F. Austin (876), host Rice (876) and Houston Baptist (883) rounded out the top-five team leaders.
Florida Atlantic's Richard Donegan won medalist honors with a score of 210. North Dakota State's Nathan Anderson fired a final-round 64 to jump into a tie for second place with UTSA's Brett Hogan at 211.
Following the Rice Intercollegiate, the Cougars open the spring season as a team when they join with Rice to host to the Bayou City Collegiate Championships at Redstone Golf Club. That tournament begins with 18 holes each day, starting Feb. 22 and running through Feb. 24.