SUGAR LAND – Jack Anderson was already having an incredible spring, and it got exponentially better this week.
Anderson holed two birdies late to cap off his tournament victory, the first individual title by a Texan in the NCAA Division I era, as he shot -12 for medalist honors at the Colin Montgomerie Invitational.
Max Bengtsson placed tied-sixth to help lead Tarleton to a third place result and their best score to par of the season at -10.
“It’s been awesome to watch Jack turn the corner this semester, he’s played solid golf from the get-go,” head coach Chance Cain said. “He was steady all tournament and it was awesome to see him drop two birdies in the final three holes to come out on top by two. Max also played fantastic this week. It’s good to see his confidence back to where it needs to be and shooting the scores he knows he’s capable of.
“Overall, it was a great performance by the team,” Cain continued. “We’ll have a nice little break until we head to UTRGV in Kerrville at the end of the month.”
This makes two top-two finishes in the last three tournaments for Anderson, following his silver medal achievement at the Pat Hicks Invitational in St. George, Utah, in mid-February. This time around at Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas, Anderson was top of the leaderboard at -12 (68-66-70), his best score of the year. He surpassed his -8 finish at the Pat Hicks Invitational.
Bengtsson was right with Anderson the entire tournament, tied after the first round and three strokes back after the second. He turned in his best tournament score of the year at -8 (68-69-71) for tied-sixth, placing in the top-10 for the second time this year, the other coming at the Oregon State Invitational in October.
Both Cristobal Sepulveda and Masen Ward shot +7 for tied-48th, with Sepulveda ending with his best round at even-par, shooting 78-73-72, and Ward stayed consistent at 74-75-74. Alvaro Huidobro rounded out the group in his second tournament of the year, finishing just a stroke behind his teammates at +8, shooting 76-73-75 for tied-52nd.
Anderson actually had a less than ideal start, bogeying his second hole of the tournament. But it’d be just one of two bogeys covering his first 36 holes, responding with three birdies in a four-hole stretch shortly thereafter. He again had back-to-back birdies late to cap off his -4 (68) round. In Round 2 on Monday, Anderson could not be stopped, holing a birdie to start, one of seven over his first 17 holes of clean golf. A bogey on his final hole kept him one stroke back of matching his season-best round of 65.
Anderson led by two after the second round and that’s how he’d finish. An early bogey was answered immediately by two birdies in his next three holes. He ran into trouble for the first time on No. 13, his ninth hole, taking a double bogey, followed by a bogey. He kept his composure, however, making a birdie on his next hole that started a stretch of four birdies in his final eight holes, including two birdies over the final three holes to win by two.
Anderson had the best score on Par 4’s out of the entire 78-man field, going -6 on them. He also had the tied-third best score on Par 3’s, where he shot -3. He had the tied-most birdies in the field with 18 across 54 holes.
As a team, Tarleton had the tied-fourth best score on Par 4’s at +4 and made the third most birdies with 39.
Bengtsson put together his best event since October, starting with his best round of -4 (68), turning in a clean card altogether with 14 pars and four birdies. He stretched it into 23 straight holes without a bogey, going -6 through that point. The rest of that round was back-and-forth, trading birdies and bogeys, ending at -3 (69). In Round 3, he was back to his fairly clean card ways, posting 13 pars, three birdies and two bogeys for a -1 (71).
Sepulveda ended his tournament with his best outing of even-par (72). He started with a double bogey, which would be one of just two poor holes in the round, as he answered with three birdies, going -2 under his final 12 holes.
Ward turned in his usual consistency, making it five out of his last six rounds at 75 or better, seven out of nine rounds this spring.
Huidobro played in his second event and has shot 74 or better in three of his six rounds, posting his best round of +1 (73) in Round 2. He shot -2 (34) in the front nine.
The Texans will have about three weeks off before their next tournament, The Big Texan Invitational at Comanche Trace in Kerrville, Texas, on March 27-28.