EL PASO, Texas (November 22, 2005) ?- Vanderbilt’s Luke List answered the challenge and the push from his threesome and held on for a one-stroke wire-to-wire win at the 31st Annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic, held at the 6,817-yard, par-71 El Paso Country Club on Tuesday.
List, who led by two strokes with one hole to play, made things interesting on the final hole. Georgia’s Chris Kirk pared the 18th, while List three-putted for bogey, allowing Kirk to pull within one.
The Vanderbilt junior fired rounds of 67, 65, 68 to finish with a 54-hole total of 200 (14-under). It is the third lowest total in tournament history, behind Arizona’s Ricky Barnes and Chris Nallen. Barnes and Nallen each carded 196 (17-under) totals in 2000 and 2003, respectively.
List became the eighth wire-to-wire winner and the first since Arizona’s Chris Nallen (2003). Vanderbilt becomes the 20th school in the 31 years of the event to have a player win the tournament title. List is just the second SEC player to win the event, joining inaugural champion Jerry Pate of Alabama, who won the event in 1974.
List, Kirk and Oklahoma State’s Pablo Martin combined to finish 1-2-3 at an amazing 36-under par. That is the lowest top total of the top three positions in tournament history.
The trio made the final round interesting, as all three were tied for the lead at 10-under through seven holes, before List rattled off a pair of birdies on eight and nine to pull ahead for good. List added birdies on 11 and 16, before bogeying the final hole.
Kirk played steady and bogey-free all day, recording a pair of birdies on the front nine and added a pair of birdies on the back nine, but List answered him until the final hole.
Martin was the three under at the turn to pull into a tie for the lead, but a bogey at No. 12 took him out of contention until he notched a pair of birdies on No. 14 and No. 15 to get within two strokes of the lead, but List would birdie the 16th to add to his cushion.
Last year’s runnerup, Matthew Rosenfeld of Texas, climbed into the top 10 after starting the day in a tie for 16th. But Georgia State’s Steven Tiley was the biggest mover on the leader board on Tuesday, as he fired a two-under 69 to climb eight spots into a tie for 16th.
Arizona's Henry Liaw tied for 23rd place with a three-round total of 214 (+1). The junior from Rowland Heights, Calif., carded rounds of 71, 74 and 69.
As a field, 22 players were under par for 54 holes, one shy of the record of 23 players who finished under par in 2003. In all, the field averaged 70.37 strokes per round. The 2003 field averaged 69.92 strokes per round.
Each university is awarded a $1,000 scholarship if a golfer from that school competes in the tournament.