The Seattle University men’s golf team put together its best round of the 2013-14 season, shooting five-under-par 283 Tuesday to come from behind and win the Pat Hicks Thunderbird Invitational, hosted by Southern Utah University at the Sunbrook Golf Club.
The Redhawks’ second-round score of 283 was the best single-round score of the tournament among the 10-team field. Seattle U finished with a cumulative score of three-under-par 573, nine strokes better than second-place Dixie State. It is Seattle U’s first team stroke-play tournament victory since the golf program was reinstated in 2008.
“We've done our best to instill a championship culture within the Seattle U golf programs. We are very fortunate to have the players we have, and we truly believe we have put together a special group of young men that will continue to impress. I always preach to my team about hard work paying off, and I’m just happy for them to have this experience,” Seattle U head golf coach Marc Chandonnet said.
David Torres (Armenia, Colombia) shot four-under-par 68, one of only five sub-70 rounds Tuesday within the 62-player field, to move up into a tie for eighth place in the final individual standings at three-under-par 141. Torres earned eight birdies over the two-day tournament and tied for the lead in par-five scoring at five-under-par.
Luka Karaula (Zapresic, Croatia) posted a score of even-par 72 for the second consecutive day to finish in a tie for 13th place at even-par 144. Karaula picked up an eagle Tuesday and shot four-under-par on the par-five holes. Ross Kukula (Ocean Park, Wash.) shot two-over-par 74 Tuesday to end the tournament in 17th place at one-over-par 145.
Right behind Kukula in 18th place was Ahren Young (Renton, Wash.), who continued his steady play with 25 pars over the 36-hole tournament and finished at two-over-par 146. Patrick Sato (Bellevue, Wash.) steadied himself after a wild first round, posting a second round score of one-under-par 71 to move up into a tie for 29th place at six-over-par 150.
As a team, Seattle U led the tournament with 34 birdies and a score of four-under-par on the par four holes, seven strokes better than the next team. The Redhawks also combined for 111 pars, tied for third-most in the field, and shot two-under-par on the par five holes.
J.T. Timmons of Utah Valley set a new tournament record in earning medalist honors at 10-under-par 134, four strokes ahead of Dixie State’s Hayden Christensen. However, because Timmons was declared an individual player before the start of the tournament, his score did not factor into Utah Valley’s team score.
The Seattle University men’s golf team will next play at the Colleton River Collegiate March 2-3 at the Colleton River Plantation Club in Bluffton, S.C.