Men's Golf Ready to Host Valspar Invitational at Floridian
March 22, 2014
PALM CITY, Fla. - Working with the University of Arkansas, the eighth-ranked University of Houston Men's Golf program will play host to one of the nation's premier events with the start of play Monday morning at the Valspar Invitational at Floridian presented by Insperity.
The tournament tees off Monday morning with 36 holes on the 7,114-yard, par-72 course at Floridian Golf Club. Monday's busy day begins at 8 a.m. (CDT) with a shotgun start, while Tuesday's Final Round tees off at 7:30 a.m. (CDT) off Nos. 1 and 10. Fans can follow live scoring by visiting GolfStat.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
The 15-team field features four of the nation's top-10 ranked teams and 11 of the top 30. This prestigious group includes the Cougars, co-host and 19th-ranked Arkansas, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Georgia Tech, No. 9 Illinois, No. 12 Florida State, No. 16 UCLA, No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 27 LSU, No. 28 SMU, No. 29 Kent State, No. 31 USF, No. 43 Tennessee, Florida and Lamar.
Under the leadership of Director of Golf Jonathan Dismuke and Associate Head Coach Chris Hill, the Cougars look to sweep their fourth consecutive team and individual titles at the Valspar Invitational at Floridian. This is the first time since 2005-06 that the Cougars have won three straight team championships.
The Cougars will use most of their starting lineup during their streak with one international exemption. Juniors Roman Robledo and Kyle Pilgrim, seniors Wesley McClain and Curtis Reed and sophomore Vincent Martino will represent Houston at the tournament.
Winners of his last three individual titles, Robledo has won four tournaments in 2013-14 alone and five of his last nine events. He leads the Cougars with a sparkling 70.86 scoring average and 15 rounds of par or better, including seven in the 60s.
During his recent streak, he has posted sub-par scores in eight of nine rounds and recorded par or better in 12 of his last 13 rounds total.
For his impressive efforts, he has been named American Athletic Conference Golfer of the Week twice and was Golfweek's National Player of the Week after helping the Cougars end No. 1 Alabama's 11-tournament winning streak.
He also is ranked No. 9 nationally by Golfstat, No. 15 nationally by Golfweek/Sagarin and was recently named to the Watch List for the Haskins Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate player.
Pilgrim joins Robledo as Cougars to win an individual title this season, The Colleyville, Texas, native fired a final-round 66 to earn medalist honors at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic on Sept. 23-24. He became just the ninth player in school history to shoot 66 or lower in the third round or later of any tournament.
McClain has competed in six tournaments this season and posted a 72.61 scoring average. The proud Diboll, Texas, native has finished among the top-20 leaders in each of his last four events, including a 10th-place showing at the Border Olympics - thanks to a final-round 68 - in his most recent outing.
Reed has been a steady presence in the Cougars' lineup this season and throughout his career. The Castroville, Texas, native is the only Cougar to compete in every team-scoring event during the last four years and is ranked among Houston's top-11 career leaders in strokes and rounds played.
Martino competed as an individual at the Border Olympics on March 14-15, tying for 19th at 220. The Southlake, Texas, native has earned three top-25 finishes in 2013-14, including a fourth-place showing at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic during the fall season.
Senior James Ross, who has competed in all but one tournament for the Cougars this season, will be representing his native Scotland as a part of Team Europe for the Sir Michael Bonallack Trophy in Bangalore, India, next week. This event, which is played every two years, pits 12 of the top amateurs from Europe against similar amateurs from Team Asia/Pacific.
Fans can receive live scoring updates by following @UHCougarGolf on Twitter and catch up with the latest news and notes on the team by clicking LIKE on the team's Facebook page at Facebook.com/HoustonCougarGolf.
Following the Valspar Invitational at Floridian, the Cougars will compete at the 3M Augusta Invitational, hosted by GRU Augusta on April 5-6 at Forest Hills Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.
From there, the team will conclude its regular-season slate when it takes part at the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate, hosted by Mississippi at Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss.