TUCSON, ARIZ. – The University of Arizona men's golf team hosted the National Invitational Tournament (N.I.T.) and posted a season-low tournament score of 858 (-6), improving 37 strokes from Arizona Intercollegiate held in Tucson. The Cats earned a fifth place with nine of 15 rounds scored at par or better.
"We continue improving as a team," said head men's golf coach Jim Anderson. Our guys played with patience and demonstrated very good resilience today. We had a slow start and missed a few scoring opportunities early, but hung in there through the rest of the round. We know we can improve from this finish, but it is nice to see the guys gain some momentum and rhythm as we start to stride in our spring season. Today's round was also very encouraging because we had all five players in position to score the entire round. Our depth is improving and the experience our young guys are gaining will be beneficial in the future. George (Cunningham) scored very well and we know he is gaining more confidence in some changes he has made. Jordan (Gumberg) is closer than his scores reflected this week, and he will be ready for the next challenge as well. We need to keep chipping away week after week."
Leading the Cats throughout the tournament was junior George Cunningham. Cunningham posted all three rounds of play at par or better, posting a season low of 68 (-4) in the second round of play. Throughout the two days of competition, Cunningham recorded 13 birdies, ranked in the top-20 in birdies made and par-5 scoring, and ranked in the top-10 in par-4 scoring. The Tucson native will tie for eighth in his third outing as a Wildcat in in his hometown, and set a career low 54-hole score of 210 (-6).
"I was very happy with my performance this week," said Cunningham. "I haven't had my best so far this semester and really got done what I needed to today. This finish will really help my confidence for the rest of the semester. I'm also really proud of our guys this week, we finished fifth and it's so nice to finally be near the top of the leaderboard. I'm really looking forward to our upcoming events."
Junior Jordan Gumberg recorded a pair of rounds at par or better in his fourth outing in Tucson. The For Lauderdale, Fla. product posted his second 54-hole score under par with a 215 (-1). Gumberg notched 11 birdies throughout the two-day competition, nine of them coming in the first day of play. Gumberg will conclude the N.I.T. in a tie for 25th place.
Freshman David Laskin set a career low 54 hole score of 217 (+1). Laskin posted 11 birdies throughout the competition, notching five in the second and third rounds. Laskin ends play in a tie for 31st place.
Freshman Briggs Duce moved up nine spots from day one of the competition to tie for 45th place. The Sierra Vista product recorded seven birdies and an eagle throughout the competition. Duce matched his round two score of 71 (-1) to finish with a 220 (+4). Redshirt sophomore Austin Stadeli tabbed 11 birdies, an eagle, and a round at par throughout the two-day contest. Stadeli fishes in a tie for 48th place after moving up six spots with a final score of 221 (+5).
Senior Redford Bobbitt, junior Ethan Marcus, freshman Brad Reeves, and sophomore Dylan Stein all competed in the contest as individuals.
Senior Redford Bobbitt set a season low 54-hole score of 217 (+1) in the two-day competition. Bobbitt recorded 12 birdies throughout the 54 hole contest to finish in a tie for 31st place.
Junior Ethan Marcus concludes play in a tie for 62nd place with a score of 225 (+9). Marcus recorded 11 birdies throughout play. Freshman Brad Reeves recorded six birdies to achieve a score of 226 (+10) to finish in a tie for 67th place. Sophomore Dylan Stein finishes play in a tie for 71st place with a score of 227 (+11).
Up next, the Cats will travel to San Diego, Calif. for the Lamkins Grips San Diego Classic on March 13.