The No. 5 Tech golf team kicked off the spring season in the Amer Ari Invitational in Waikoloa, Hawai’i. Tech finished the tournament in fourth place, with a final total score of 844 over three days, which was good for 20-under-par. The Jackets played with elite competition from eleven of the country’s best golf squads from the Big 12 and the Pac-10.
For the majority of the first round, Tech stayed in the lead or in second place with strong play by senior John-Tyler Griffin who finished at five-under par. Teammates sophomore Richard Werenski and senior Kyle Scott also shot under par as the Jackets finished the first day tied for second place at 10-under with a score of 278. The Jackets only trailed No. 24 USC, and were tied with No. 4 Oklahoma State.
“We got off to a good start, but made a couple of mistakes in the middle of the back nine,” said Head Coach Bruce Heppler courtesy of ramblinwreck.com.
However, after two days and 36 holes, the Jackets fell to fourth place in the tournament, with junior James White posting six-under-par. The Jackets went six-under for a second day score of 282 after two rounds, being passed by UCLA and Texas Tech. Oklahoma State took the overall lead at 25-under for 36 holes, and Tech was 11 shots back from first at 16-under.
Tech, however, would hold steady through the third and final day to finish the tournament in fourth place overall with a final-round score of four-under-284. White and Scott each went one-under par on the final day, and Werenski went one-over. The Jackets shot 20-under overall in their first spring outing, as Oklahoma State won the Invitational, followed by Texas in second and UCLA in third.
The Jackets will be looking to improve when they head to Rio Grande, Puerto Rico on Feb. 20 for the Puerto Rico classic.