Oregon men’s golf wins first event of 2017; Clark captures individual title
It was a clean sweep for the Ducks in their first match of the 2017 season at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson, Arizona, on Monday and Tuesday.
Newcomer Wyndham Clark led a trio of Ducks that finished in the top nine in the individual standings. Clark, who transferred to Oregon after competing at Oklahoma State last year, took first individually, leading an Oregon team that won the event by 12 strokes over second place Pepperdine University.
Pac-12 rival Washington finished third, followed by No. 15 Texas A&M and New Mexico to round out the top five in team play.
“We played great today,” Oregon head coach Casey Martin told Goducks.com. “Right from the start, we came out and made a lot of birdies. I am really happy for the guys. They had a couple tough weeks of weather back in Eugene to prep for this event and they really battled for this win.”
Norman Xiong finished fourth overall at 1-under in his first competition for the Ducks. Edwin Yi began the winter schedule of his sophomore season with a 4-over par, good for a tie of ninth place.
“The tournament was great and the course was in great condition,” Xiong told GoDucks.com. “The weather definitely played a factor, but we came out ready. It was really fun to play for my team.”
Nigel Lett, who golfed at the tournament as an individual, tied for eighth place at 10-over. Because he played as an individual, his scores were not factored into the team standings for the Ducks. Sam Foust finished tied for 29th place at +11. Ryan Gronlund shot 14-over par to finish tied for 42nd place.
After the completion of the day one in the Arizona Intercollegiate, the Ducks established themselves early, taking a one-stroke lead through the first nine holes. As a team the Ducks sunk 18 birdies, with Clark dropping six of them. Clark was the only Duck under par after the first day, with a 1-under.
“Today was a grind,” Clark told GoDucks.com after day one. “The weather was tough and it was all about controlling your emotions and not beating yourself up. I think I did a pretty good job of that today.”
Edwin Yi scored a 5-over and Xiong put up a score of 6-over par in the first round for the Ducks. Sam Foust put up a 9-over and Gronlund scored 16-over par to round out the Oregon lineup.
The team did not complete the second round as scheduled on Monday due to darkness, so the team finished round two and three on Tuesday to complete the event.
“I’m really excited for the team and what’s the come. I’m hoping this is the first of many wins for us,” Clark told GoDucks.com after the team’s victory on Tuesday.
The Ducks will look to carry their momentum from their first win of the season on to Waikoloa, Hawaii, the site of the Amer Ari Invitational on Feb. 2-4.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter @zlast3445
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