March 22, 2011
Tulsa separated itself from the field in the final holes of the third round to take home the team victory, shooting a three-round total of 867 (+11), beating out SMU for the title by a slim six strokes. Arizona's Jonathan Khan, birdied his first hole of the tournament and led from that point on, winning the tournament by two strokes over Stephen Carney of Tulsa.
After poor weather dominated the day one of the National Invitational Tournament, the players were repaid by almost perfect conditions on Tuesday.
Arizona, SMU and Tulsa were in a battle all day, spending most of the third round tied for first. The three schools ended the second round knotted at 16-over.
The Golden Hurricane took the lead down the stretch, expanding it to five strokes with four to play, and would hold on to victory.
The individual race was a tight one as well. Khan, a wire-to-wire winner, had some company with two holes to play. The Wildcat senior saw his comfortable lead disappear when Carney eagled the par-five 10th and birdied 15 and 16 back-to-back to get to five under, tied with Khan. Carney, however bogeyed his final two holes and Khan took home his first individual medal of his career.
Wyoming's Gabe Maier was two-under for the tournament and finished third. TCU's Tom Hoge and UNLV's Kevin Penner tied for fourth at one-under par.
Tulsa carded a third-round 283 (-5), one of only two red scores in the third round, to take a seven stroke victory over SMU. Arizona finished third at 20-over. TCU picked up three strokes on its final hole to jump into a tie for fourth with Indiana at plus-26.
Tulsa, SMU and Arizona were the only three teams with three players in the top-20. This was the first time all year Arizona completed such feat.
Two years ago, on the same course, Khan finished fourth in the NIT, previously his best finish of his career. The senior also finished fourth earlier this year at the Anteater Invitational. The victory represents the 67th time a UA golfer has claimed an individual title, and first since Tarquin MacManus won the Braveheart Invitational at March 2, 2010.
A short turnaround is in store for the Cats, as they get just one day of rest before competing in the Barona Cup, March 24 and 25.