TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona men’s golf team wrapped up its first spring competition on Tuesday with a surge up to second place at the Arizona Intercollegiate.
California swept the top titles for both team and individual honors. California took the first place title beating out the rest of the competition with a final score of 853 (+1). In the individual race, Brandon Hagy and Joel Stalter both tied for first place.
The Wildcats saved their best round for last, firing a two-over 286 on Tuesday to bring them to their total of 867 (+15). UA steadily improved over the course of the tournament, moving from 4th after the first two rounds before settling into second place at the conclusion of play.
“I’m so proud of the group,” head coach Jim Anderson said. “To have one of the lowest final rounds motivates us to continue improving as we get going into the spring. We had some difficult holes and we talked about how a great finish from our top guys will help us earn good finished overall but if it wasn’t for some of those guys that didn’t let the course get away from them at the back end, that’s one of the reasons why we were able to place where we did.
Sophomore Kolton Lapa began his Wildcat career tying for third place finish to lead the Wildcats. Lapa shot a 72 (-2) on the day to bring his total to 211 (-2).
”I’m very proud of, Kolton,” Anderson said. “I knew when he made the decision to come to Arizona that he would be able to make an immediate impact in such a short amount of time. I knew his caliber of play warranted a tournament like this. He didn’t let one round get to him, and I know this motivates him and makes him realize he can do it.”
Senior Erik Oja finished behind Lapa shooting 70 (-1) for the day bringing his total to 216 (+3). That score was good for an eighth place tie. Oja had been in 15th place at the end of the first two rounds. Junior Alex McMahon also posted a top-20 finish in the No. 17 spot, a six-spot jump. McMahon had his best round shooting a 72 (+1) to bring his total to 219 (+6).
“Erik has been a leader of t he team,” Anderson said. “Even though he wasn’t our low finisher he got better every round. I know he is going to be on the door step to win a tournament. Once he wins ones, he’s very possibly going to win another. Alex’s game has been sharp. He’s definitely ready to help contribute. Both of those guys logged in quality rounds.”
Brenden Redfern also shot his best round of the tournament with a 72 (+1), which brought him to a total of 221 (+8). His score brought him into the top-25 with a 23rd place finish. Benson Liu rounded out the Wildcats top five spots with an 82 (+11) round, which brought his total to 233 (+20) and a 66th place finish.
Alongside the team’s second place finish, numerous Wildcats finished their individual competitions within the top-80 finishes.
Representing the Wildcats as an individual, Christian Colegrove led the group in 47th place shooting his best round of the tournament at a 74(+3) to finish with a 228 (15). Behind him were Dylan Kornberg and Ricky Lee who both tied for 60th place. They each shot totals of 232 (+19).
Rounding out the final three individual spots were Parker Houston, Bertrand Mommaerts and Tucker Wadkins. Houston shot a 79 (+8) on the day for 78th place. Mommaerts and Wadkins finished off the tournament in 79th and 80th place shooting a final round of 76 (+5) and 82 (+11), respectively.
“As excited as we are at this moment, we have a ton of work to do,” Anderson said. “We dug ourselves a hole in the fall that we have to fix until Pac-12 Championships. We don’t necessarily have the depth that we need. There is a lot to do, and we will be practicing and competing to prepare for our next tournament in Hawaii.”
The Wildcats will resume spring competition at the John Burns Invitational, which will be held in Lihue, HI from Wednesday, Feb. 19 through Friday, Feb. 21. For more information on Arizona men’s golf, follow @UAWildcatsGolf on Twitter.