Feb. 23, 2010
(Avondale, La.) - The USD men's golf team overcame its two-stroke deficit to North Carolina State entering today's final round to win their third straight team event this month. USD fired a final round team score of 293 to finish the three-round tournament with a winning total of 870 at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Mardi Gras Invitational. North Carolina State tallied a final round 298 to finish three strokes back at 873. Host University of New Orleans finished third at 878 in the fifteen team field. USD sophomore Alex Ching (Honolulu, HI) carded a final round 69 to finish at 207 (9-under par) to capture medalist honors. Ching beat out his closest competitor, NC State's Brad Revell, by six strokes (213; 69-70-74).
"This was a very special week. Not only were we fortunate enough to win, but we helped build a home for a Hurricane Katrina victim," said USD head coach Tim Mickelson. "This is back to back wins and both were from behind going into the final round. This marks three team wins in the last four events which gives the team confidence that we can compete with anyone in the country.
USD junior Scott Brace (Suffolk, England) shot a final round 71 to move up into a tie for 8th place overall at 217 (74-72-71). Rounding out USD's team effort was junior Jason Shano (Scottsdale, AZ) who tied for 21st at 223 (75-71-77), junior Gunner Wiebe (Denver, CO) who tied for 31st at 227 (77-74-76), and junior Ben Murray (La Quinta, CA) who tied for 33rd at 228 (81-70-77).
The Allstate Sugar Bowl Mardi Gras Invitational was held at the TPC Louisiana course (par 72; 6,931 yards) just outside of New Orleans. The TPC Louisiana course is also the host course for the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic.
"Alex's 64 in the first round is the most impressive round I have seen since getting into coaching," added Mickelson. "Shooting 64 on that course was not something I envisioned as being possible, and he did it with a double bogey on hole 5 and a bogey on hole 10. This was a true team victory. We got solid production from everyone in the lineup. Alex's performance was obviously huge for the team title, but without the solid play from everyone else, we would not have won the event"
Including today's tournament victory, the Toreros captured all three team events they competed in during the month of February. They opened up by winning the San Diego Intercollegiate (USD JV team) on February 2nd, a one-day, two-round event that was played at the Farms Golf Club with the four other area teams. Over February 8-9 USD won its own 5th Annual Callaway Invitational as they edged out 25th ranked SMU for team honors. Including their last two events of their fall schedule, USD has won four of its last five tournaments. The Toreros won the Kauai Collegiate at the end of October before placing third at the Saint Mary's College Invitational on Nov. 9-10.
Next week the Toreros will compete in the USC Invitational on March 1-2. Stated Mickelson, "We will certainly be tested next week at USC in an extremely strong field and we are looking forward to that challenge and finally earning the respect we deserve. We have played well in 6 of our 7 events this year and feel we have been completely overlooked by those that follow college golf closely. We look forward to the next few months ahead"