March 4, 2014
QUERENCIA, LOS CABOS, Mexico - For the second straight tournament, the 11th-ranked University of Houston Men's Golf program swept both the team and individual titles, this time at the Querencia Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon.
The Cougars posted a team score of 863 to finish one stroke ahead of No. 1 and defending national champion Alabama. The win halted the Crimson Tide's 11-tournament winning streak dating back to last season.
"This has been a great week for us. Our guys played hard on a very demanding course. Any time you are in competition with the No. 1 team in the country, you better play at your best, and our guys did that." said Houston Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke, who competed at Auburn from 2001 to 2004. "We stumbled a bit coming down the stretch but did enough to win the title."
Individually, junior Roman Robledo earned his second straight individual title, finishing at 4-under-par 209. The Harlingen, Texas, native saw his streak of five straight rounds in the 60s halted with a 73 in Tuesday's final round but parred out his last six holes to become the first Cougar since Andy Sanders in 1999 to win consecutive championships.
Robledo earned medalist honors at the Cougars' own Bayou City Collegiate Championship with a dazzling score of 12-under-par 204 on Feb. 21-23 at the Golf Club of Houston. This also was his fourth title in his last eight events and his third of the 2013-14 campaign.
"Roman played well all tournament long," Dismuke said. "This course is demanding and handcuffs the strength of his game in many ways, so this was a special win for him. For him to perform and play as he did was just an outstanding achievement."
Robledo, who was ranked No. 44 in the latest Golfstat individual rankings, finished one stroke in front of Baylor's Kyle Jones and two strokes in front of Alabama's Robby Shelton, who was ranked No. 4 That trio was the only group to finish par or better for the tournament.
The Cougars posted four leaders in the top 20, including two among the top eight. Senior James Ross tied for eighth at 216 and posted the team's lowest round of the day with an even-par 71 on the 6,919-yard course at Querencia Golf Club. The Edinburgh, Scotland, native birdied back-to-back holes on Nos. 14 and 15 and drained pars on his final three holes to secure his third straight top-10 finish and his fourth of the 2013-14 season,
Senior Curtis Reed tied for 14th at 219, while senior Wesley McClain finished in a tie for 20th after shooting a Final-Round 72. Junior Kyle Pilgrim tied for 20th at 229, while freshman Matt Scobie, playing as an individual, finished 70th at 244.
While the team celebrated their second straight victory, Dismuke and Associate Head Coach Chris Hill were already making plans for the rest of the week's practice schedule.
"Our main focus is to always get better. We have a lot of room to improve, even off this performance," Dismuke said. "We have some areas we have to address and get better. We are going to take Wednesday off and enjoy this title, but we have to get back at it when we get back to Houston."
After the Cougars and No. 1 Alabama, No. 28 Baylor (870), No. 32 Kentucky (870), No. 16 Vanderbilt (875), No. 29 SMU (875), No. 17 Arkansas (882), No. 31 LSU (883), Chattanooga (897), Mississippi (898) and Lamar (898) rounded out the top-11 team leaders.
With eight top-35 teams, the Querencia Cabo Collegiate featured more ranked teams than unranked squads in the 14-team field.
With Tuesday's win, the Cougars have now finished higher than 70 of the 78 teams against whom they have competed during the 2013-14 season.
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Following the Querencia Cabo Intercollegiate, the Cougars play host to the Border Olympics at Laredo Country Club in Laredo, Texas, on March 14-15.
From there, the team heads to the Sunshine State to compete at The Floridian Intercollegiate at The Floridian Golf Club in Palm City, Fla. That two-day, 54-hole tournaments begins March 24 and runs through March 25.