Men's Golf pulls away to victory at Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
WINDERMERE, Fla. -- Texas shot a collective nine-over par to score its first tournament victory in two seasons Tuesday at the 18-team Isleworth Collegiate Invitational at the Isleworth Country Club. The Longhorns ran away with a 12-stroke victory over second-place Florida to capture the event featuring three of the last four NCAA team champions and nine of the top-15 finishers from the 2006 NCAA Championships.
At 12 strokes, Texas recorded the largest victory margin in the tournament's three-year history en route to its first win since the 2004 Big 12 Championships. Georgia, the 2004 and 2005 Isleworth Collegiate champion, recorded winning margins of 10 strokes and seven strokes, respectively. The Longhorns claimed the victory despite entering the event as the lowest-ranked team (Golfweek No. 57) in the field.
"It has been two years since we have won a golf tournament," said UT coach John Fields, "and I'm really happy for our guys. I've got 10 great guys on this golf team. Last week, we had the best qualifying round in the last five years. We were all really excited to come here, but you don't come here thinking you are just going to blow by everybody with this kind of field."
Indeed, the Longhorns blew past the field on the strength of three top-10 individual finishes, marking the first time Texas accomplished such a feat since the 2006 Big 12 Championships when UT landed medalist Matt Rosenfeld, Jeff Bell and Matt Mills in the top ten.
Senior Matt Bortis (Springfield, Mo.), an Arkansas transfer, carded a one-under 71 in Tuesday's final round to finish in a tie for fourth place.
"We're really thankful he's here," Fields said. "We played through some rough conditions today, but he had the desire to get through today. He has won on an individual basis, but the team title is as special for him as for everyone else."
Junior Kevin Schultz (Richardson, Texas) managed a four-over 76 in the final round but placed in a tie for sixth after carding a four-under 68 in the second round.
"Kevin is coming out of a tough sophomore season, and I'm so happy for him," Fields said. "He had a great tournament finishing in sixth place, and I'm really pleased to see him turn the corner. It's great to see him putting up these kinds of numbers."
Senior Jhonattan Vegas (Maturin, Venezuela) carded a three-over 75 to finish the tournament in a tie for 10th place, marking his top individual finish of the fall.
"Jhonattan is coming of age and had another solid round today," Fields said. "He has been in position to finish well, and he did that today. He is becoming one of the better players in college golf, and I'm really happy for him."
Freshman Lance Lopez (Missouri City, Texas) finished the tournament at six-over par with a three-over 75 on Tuesday to end the event tied for 19th place.
"Lance brings a winning attitude every time out, and he worked really hard today. He had a solid round and helped us win today. He is a very, very talented young freshman with a lot of desire."
Sophomore Charlie Holland (Dallas, Texas) finished the tournament in a tie for 49th place after stroking an 80 on Tuesday. Holland helped the Horns to a quick start on Sunday with an even-par 72.
UT entered the final day in first place, leading Oklahoma State by one stroke after ending the first round in a tie for fourth place. Texas ended the tournament with its worst round, statistically, yet the Longhorns finished with the second-best round of the day at 297.
"I knew the golf course was playing ridiculously hard, but with the wind and some of the hole locations, it was a fabulous test," Fields said. "It was very, very special for us to come out on top today."
The Longhorns will take to the links one more time this fall when they head to Hawaii for the Aloha Purdue Collegiate Invitational. The tournament is slated for Nov. 22-23 in Kauai, Hawaii.
Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
Top 10 Individuals