The third round on Sunday showed some promise, but it was too little and too late. The LSU men's golf squad must focus on the positives moving forward in their schedule.
The purple and gold teed it up for their final round at their home course early on Sunday. The morning winds were calm, and the team seemed to have arrived at the course with determination. Entering the round, the Tigers were 28 strokes off the lead. Finishing the round, the Tigers were 28 strokes off the lead.
Junior Chris Woollam finished his third round even-par, the lowest score on the team. Although he was playing as an individual this week and his score did not affect the overall tally, he was able to strengthen his case for more playing time.
“Today I just grinded it out,” Woollam told the Reveille. “I definitely think my game is trending towards being good enough to play in the lineup. Just have to play well when it counts and keep getting better.”
This was Woollam’s first appearance at a tournament this year. He tied for 33rd and brought about an aura of positivity and calmness to the team.
Another individual, Michael Sanders, had the second-best performance this week. Sanders shot a collective 6-over, tying him for 21st place.
For Sanders, his highlight of the week was his 4-under performance on Saturday.
“I played a clean and solid round of golf, and it was nice to post a score in the 60s with how tough the course was playing,” Sanders said.
The course was playing tough for sure. The wind added another level of difficulty.
“Wind has a way of making poorly struck shots a lot worse than normal,” Sanders said.
The wind remained a constant throughout the course of the tournament.
Freshman Drew Doyle finished tied for 55th with a score of 12-over. He finished his third round 5-over. The freshman gained valuable experience this week, learning how essential to the team he is. He is in a form that is worthy of keeping an eye on him.
Junior Garrett Barber finished round three 2-over and overall, 10-over, tied for 43rd. Through the first nine of play on Sunday he was 1-under. Barber and junior Trey Winstead have been the foundation the team rests upon since Phillip Barbaree graduated in January.
Winstead finished the tournament 13-over, tied for 58th. He is a Baton Rouge native who has lived a majority of his life at the University Club. Although he didn’t not perform as well as he would’ve liked to, he has a full schedule ahead of him with plenty of room for a bounce back.
Sophomore Nicholas Arcement signed a 2-over scorecard on Sunday, tallied his score to 14-over for the tournament, tying him for 61st. Sophomore Connor Gaunt signed off a 4-over, finishing 17-over, tying for 72nd.
Some positives that came from this week: The team is young and full of untapped potential. Freshman Hugo Aguilar Puertes from Spain has not played once this season.
The squad was truly challenged physically and mentally, and it will only promote growth. And the coaches were able to dissect each players weaknesses in order to improve for the next tournament.
“It was awesome to be able to have everyone at our home course and compare our game to theirs,” Woollam said. “ Unfortunately it didn’t go our way this week, but we have plenty to learn from and get better before we play again.”
The Tigers will travel to Opelika, Alabama, for the Tiger Invitational March 12-15.