March 16, 2013
LAREDO, Texas - Saving its best for last, the University of Houston Golf team posted the lowest score of the tournament in the final round to rally and win the Border Olympics at Laredo Country Club, its second team title of the 2012-13 campaign.
The Cougars fired a team score of 10-under-par 278 in the final round with four student-athletes posting rounds in the 60s and five finishing at even-par or better on the 7,319-yard, par-72 course. Houston was one of only three teams to post sub-par final rounds and recorded the lowest round of the day by seven strokes.
"We just did a better job of cleaning up our rounds," director of golf Jonathan Dismuke said. "We converted when we should have. We played the easier holes better and posted some nice rounds."
It was the Cougars' second team title of the 2012-13 season. In mid-October, the Cougars rallied in the final round to win the Lone Star Invitational at Hill Country Resort Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas.
It also marked the first time since 2005-06 that the Cougars won multiple tournaments in the same season. The 2005-06 Cougars won four tournaments (Santa Anita North Texas Classic; All-American Intercollegiate Invitational; Louisiana Classics and Palmetto Intercollegiate).
"This bunch is more mature and not building things up to be bigger than they are. We did a tremendous job coming back from our worst performance of the year," Dismuke said. "That just shows how confident they are and how they have matured as a team."
Junior Wesley McClain played a bogey-free round with two birdies on his front nine and another two birdies on his back nine to finish second at 211. It was the Diboll, Texas, native's second top-five finish this season and was a career best finish, topping his fourth-place showing at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate in late September.
Sophomore Kyle Pilgrim fired a final-round 68 with four birdies and only one bogey to mar his scorecard and placed third at 213. Like McClain, the Colleyville, Texas, native enjoyed a career-best finish - topping his fifth-place at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship in late February - and posted his second top-five finish of the season.
"Wes and Kyle posted great rounds and had a really solid week," Dismuke said. "Any time you can play bogey-free round, especially in the final round, you have done a great job."
Junior Roman Robledo was the third Cougar to finish among the top-10 leaders, tying for 10th at 217. The Harlingen, Texas, native recorded three birdies with only one bogey in his final round on the way to his third top-10 finish in 2012-13 alone.
Playing as an individual, junior Bryn Flanagan posted the team's lowest score of the day with a career-low-tying 67 and tied for fifth at 216.. The Krugersdorp, South Africa, native reached that total for the second time this season and joined freshman Vincent Martino and junior Jesse Droemer for the team's lowest round in 2012-13.
The day did not start well for Flanagan as he opened the final round with a double-bogey 6 on the 18th hole. However, he proceeded to birdie four of his next holes and then really took off on the back nine. After back-to-back pars on 10 and 11, Flanagan birdied five of his last six holes of the day, giving him nine birdies in the final round alone.
Droemer, Martino and junior Curtis Reed tied for 39th at 225. Droemer lowered his score for the third straight day with an even-par 72.
"Golf is a sport where you are always up and down a bit. The big thing we have done is increase our depth. Our guys are fresher fresh with much more competition," Dismuke said. "Once you get to the tournament, it's easier as opposed to being back at home trying to quality."
Central Arkansas' James Newton earned medalist honors with a score of 209, thanks to a 65 in the second round.
No. 35 Oklahoma finished second at 867, while Central Arkansas placed third at 869. Lamar (876), No. 37 Baylor (878), UTSA (880), Texas State (885), Sam Houston State (890), Stephen F. Austin (894) and Washington State (897) rounded out the top-10 leaders.
After a busy week, the Cougars will take some time off before returning to action April 6-7 at the Insperity Augusta State Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. It will be the first of three tournaments for the Cougars in the month of April.
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