TCU Golfers Victorious at National Invitational Tournament
March 29, 2005
TUCSON, Ariz. - The TCU men's golf team used a total team effort in a wire-to-wire 54-hole victory at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson, Ariz. It was the 12th-rated Horned Frogs' first tournament title of the 2004-05 campaign and comes just three weeks before the Conference USA Championships, where TCU will be seeking its school-record fifth straight league title.
TCU (838) began the day with a one-stroke lead, but matched the best final-round score of any team with a 9-under 279 to win the event by three strokes over Arkansas (841). Fifth-ranked UNLV (843), No. 23 Arizona (843) and No. 18 Texas (844) rounded out the top five in a 14-team tournament that featured eight nationally-ranked programs.
TCU's five golfers combined to tally seven rounds of 70 or better, led by senior J.J. Killeen's 66 to open the event. All five Frogs finished the tournament in red numbers, and four were under par in two of the three rounds at the OMNI Tucson National Course (Par 72, 7,094 yards).
Killeen, who entered the final round as the leader, closed the tourney with a two-over 74 to land in a tie for 10th place. The Lubbock, Texas product finished with a three-day score of 209 (-7) to log his third top-10 finish in his last four events. The nation's 30th-ranked player has now placed among the top 20 in eight of the Frogs' nine tournaments this year.
David Schultz (Fargo, N.D.) tied for 12th place after a 1-under 71 in the third round. For the second straight day, the senior was hindered by the 18th hole. After a triple-bogey on the last hole yesterday, he took a double-bogey as he completed his round today. Schultz finished with a total of 211 (-5) for his fourth top-20 finish of the year and first of the spring season.
Junior Colby Beckstrom, who had posted 1-over 73s in each of the first two rounds, nailed down a team-best 5-under 67 to close the tournament. He finished in a tie for 19th with a 54-hole 213 (-3) after beginning the day in a tie for 45th. It was the Michigan native's fourth top-20 finish this year and his 15th over three seasons in Fort Worth.
Sophomore Drew Stoltz (213) recorded his lone over-par round of tournament on Tuesday, a 73, but managed to hang on to 19th place. After a 3-over opening nine on Tuesday, Stoltz (Fort Collins, Colo.) regrouped with a 2-under after the turn. In doing so, he produced his first career top 20. His previous best was a 29th-place finish at the Hall of Fame Invitational just last week.
James Sacheck fired a career-best round of 68 (-4) to leap up 22 spots in the standings. The freshman finished the tournament with a three-round total of 215 (-1), which was also a personal best. The native of Zionsville, Ind. made just one bogey on the day and had a nine-hole stretch in which he made five birdies.
"I'm really proud of all the guys. The one thing we've been struggling with all year is getting scores from our No. 4 and 5 guys, but Drew and James really stepped up this week," TCU head coach Bill Montigel said. "This was the lift that we needed heading into the stretch run of the season. After this tournament, I'm convinced that this is the team that we're going to compete with the rest of the way. I hope this win gives us some confidence going into the conference tournament and the NCAA regionals."
Prior to competing in the Conference USA Championships from Apr. 18-20 in Gulfport, Miss., TCU will play a dual match against Notre Dame on Saturday, Apr. 9 in South Bend, Ind. The format will be a stroke-play, 36-hole, one-day event at Notre Dame's Warren Golf Course, the site of the 2005 NCAA Central Regional from May 19-21.