TCU Golfers Dominate For School-Record Fifth Straight League Crown
April 20, 2005
GULFPORT, Miss. - With a thoroughly dominant performance over all three rounds, the TCU men's golf team (841) became the first athletics team in school history to win five straight league championships, finishing 26 strokes ahead of runner-up Charlotte (867) at the 2005 Conference USA Championships at The Grand Bear Golf Club (7,093 yards, par 72) in Gulfport, Miss. TCU individuals grabbed each of the top four individual spots, with junior Colby Beckstrom and sophomore Drew Stoltz sharing medalist honors.
"This was just a tremendous three-day performance," said four-time Conference USA Coach of the Year Bill Montigel. "Everybody really stepped up and played unbelievable golf. I'm so proud of them and happy that they could set a school record in the process. It is quite an accomplishment and a great reward for all of their hard work."
Of the 42 rounds completed by the 14 schools, TCU owned each of the top three scores, a 10-under 278 on Monday, a 7-under 281 today and a 6-under 282 on Tuesday. TCU led from wire-to-wire after owning an eight-stroke bulge following the first round. Four of TCU's five players broke par in the final round, and all four completed the event in red numbers.
Beckstrom, who entered the day as the leader by one shot over Stoltz, got up-and-down on the final hole to claim a share of the individual title. It was the second collegiate championship for the junior, who previously won the 2003 Prestige at PGA West. At the par-3 16th, Beckstrom stuck his tee shot within two feet for his final birdie of the tournament. The North Muskegon, Mich. native's three-day total of 209 was 7-under-par. He has finished in the top 20 at the Conference USA Championships in all three of his seasons in Fort Worth. In addition to being named to the all-tournament team, Beckstrom was tabbed first-team all-conference for the second straight year.
"We came to win as a team and we did that," Beckstrom said. "Drew and I didn't want a playoff (to determine an outright champion). We both deserved to win and that's the way we wanted to leave it. We aren't here to beat each other, we're teammates. This was a great team effort. It feels awesome."
Stoltz (70-69-70) continued his excellent ball striking and played solid around the greens as well. The Fort Collins, Colo. player made eagle on the par-5 11th after draining a downhill 15-foot putt, and had a birdie on the 156-yard par-3 eighth with a tap-in two-footer. Stoltz was the only player in the 70-person field to play each round at least two strokes under par. His 69 in the second round was a career-best effort, and the sophomore's 54-hole sum of 209 (-7) was also a personal record as a collegian. Prior to this victory, Stoltz's previous career-best finish was a tie for 19th at the National Invitational Tournament in March. He was named to all-tournament team for his co-medalist performance.
Senior David Schultz registered a 1-under 71 in the final round to claim his second straight top-5 finish at the C-USA Championships. After playing the first six holes at plus-1, Schultz made birdies on the next three holes by virtue of short putts on Nos. 7 and 9 and a long effort on the eighth green. His three-round total of 212 (-4) was just three back of the winning total. He has played 10-under-par over his last eight rounds of play. Schultz earned first-team All-C-USA mention for the third consecutive year.
True freshman James Sacheck moved up from a share of ninth place into fourth position after closing the event with a 3-under 69. His round of 69 was the second-best score of the day and gave the Indiana native his first career top-10 finish. Three of his last six rounds have been in the 60s, including two in the C-USA Tournament. The fourth-place finish gave Sacheck a spot on the five-person all-league team.
J.J. Killeen gave the Frogs a top-20 sweep, as the senior from Lubbock tied for 19th place with a221 (+5). He posted a three-over 75 on Wednesday, his highest score of the event, but finished inside the top 20 for the ninth time in 10 tournaments this year. Killeen carded a 37 on the front nine and a 38 on the way in. Following the round, Killeen was honored as the Conference USA Player of the Year and was a first-team all-conference choice. His selection gave the Horned Frogs three first-team picks for the third year in a row.
Since joining the league in 2002, the Horned Frogs won all four league championships, four C-USA Coach of the Year titles and three C-USA Player of the Year awards. For winning the conference tournament, TCU receives an automatic bid to the 2005 NCAA Regionals, an event the squad has reached each year since 1990 under Montigel.
TCU Individual Results
2005 CONFERENCE USA MEN'S GOLF AWARDS
Freshman of the Year
Coach of the Year