Feb. 22, 2011
HOUSTON - Although it didn't fire its best round of the tournament, the University of Houston golf team used steady play during tough conditions Tuesday afternoon to move up into fourth place in the final standings at the Rice Intercollegiate.
With the wind blowing from the northeast Tuesday, the par-72, 7,184-yard course at Westwood Golf Club played far differently than it had in practice rounds and the first 36 holes on Monday. However, the Cougars kept their composure and posted a team score of 288, the second-lowest round of the day.
"We are a better team right now when things get tough," said head coach Jonathan Dismuke, who is in his second year at the helm of the program. "We have a mentally tough group of guys. When conditions get tough, you have to bear down and manage your game. For a young team, we did that well today."
The Cougars, who were sixth entering the final 18 holes, were only one stroke off their afternoon round Monday. However, their team total was good enough to rank as the second lowest on the final day, a position that Dismuke always appreciates.
"One of our team goals is to have the low final round," Dismuke said. "If you can do that, you can move up in the standings. Any time you can do that, you will move up."
Individually, sophomore Jordan Rumora continued his stellar par during his first action of the season. The Houston native and Cy Fair High product fired a 2-under-par 70 in the final round and finished in a tie for 11th place at even-par 216.
"I was very pleased with Jordan's performance today," Dismuke said. "He put two great rounds together after really struggling in the first round."
All five Cougars in the lineup played consistently throughout the day, finishing within five strokes of one another.
Freshman Wesley McClain fired a 72 in the final round and moved into a tie for 21st at 218, while sophomore newcomer Will Dusenbury and freshman Bryn Flanagan were one stroke back in a tie for 23rd. Freshman Curtis Reed tied for 32nd with a score of 220.
New Mexico State posted the day's lowest team round of 283 and captured the team championship with a 54-hole total of 853. Florida Gulf Coast finished second at 856 with Wichita State (857), Rice (t-5th, 869) and Texas State (t-5th, 869) rounding out the top-six team leaders.
New Mexico State's Gaston De La Torre earned medalist honors with a score of 207 after shooting 68 in the final round. He finished three strokes ahead of Bowling Green's Drew Preston, Florida Gulf Coast's Brandon Pena and Calvin Pearson of Wichita State.
The Cougars will take a short break from their schedule, but when they do return to action, they will be busy. Houston will compete in four tournaments in the month of March, beginning with the Louisiana Classics on March 7-8.
From there, the team will take part at the Seminole Intercollegiate (March 11-13), Desert Shootout (March 17-19) and the Border Olympics (March 25-26.