UHV men's golf team takes second at AII Conference tournament
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The life of Austin Griffin, regular college student, didn't end just because he had to play in a golf tournament.
Even if it was the AII Conference championship.
The junior marketing major had a research paper to write, and having to play one of the most important rounds of golf of the season for the University of Houston-Victoria.
He said he turned the paper in at 7 a.m., and wasn't sure how long he had been awake.
"54 hours, 48, I don't know," he sighed.
Fatigued mentally, Griffin was still sharp on the course, posting a 2-over 74 to help UHV's bid to take the conference title in their first year as a program.
British Columbia shot a third-round team score of 303 to secure the conference title despite a furious rally from the Jaguars, who made up the five-stroke difference on the team score on the front nine only to lose it on the final nine holes.
UHV finished in second place with a three-day score of 916, and a final-round score of 304 on Tuesday.
James Price followed an impressive second round even-par 72 with a 1-over 73, good enough for a fourth place tie with David Sheman of British Columbia.
The day had all the makings of a bad round for Griffin, the Cuero native who is one of the cornerstones of the Jaguars team. He was tired, he had struggled to rounds of 78 and 79 on Monday in near-identical conditions at Victoria Country Club.
On top of that, UHV was a man down. Eric Garza attempted to open the third round after injuring his wrist the day before, but couldn't complete the round.
This meant the four remaining golfers - Griffin, Price, Jon Moore and Cory Anderson - needed to be spot on with Garza's no score the one dropped.
Griffin did his part, although he didn't think he had shot well on early in the day, but began cruising later in the day. That included a highlight reel chip from 170 yards out on the par-4 16th hole, where he chipped in for an eagle.
"I just hit two really great shots. They were both perfect, and it turned out one went in," he said. "I don't do that very often."
A big part of it was his knowledge of the course. His familiarity with the hole helped him play it correctly, leading to the success.
"I had a 5-iron, because the wind was in my face a little bit," he said. "I was just trying to play it left of the pin, because I knew everything rolled right."
And his reaction to it?
"Didn't really have one," he said.
Griffin was too tired to have one. But being fatigued and operating on no sleep may have helped him out on the course Tuesday.
"I think being tired kind of helped," he said. "I didn't really have any emotions out there, I was just kind of like a zombie out there."
HOPE AND DESPAIR AT COUNTRY CLUB
UHV coach Brian Williamson was hopeful his team could pull out a win. And he was encouraged early with the Jaguars' play.
They had made up the difference easily in the first nine holes, and it looked the the Jaguars were going to beat British Columbia.
"We had them right up until the end," he said. "It came down to the final holes. We were up."
But struggles on the back nine hurt the Jaguars. Cory Anderson struggled on the back nine, as did Jon Moore.
On normal circumstances, one player struggling a little might not be a concern. But with Garza injured, that made his third round score the dropped score for the team that day.
British Columbia won the men's team tournament by six strokes, but teams up and down the top 5 had a chance in the final round.
Five teams were within 22 shots of each other at the top of the men's standings.
Cal State San Marcos, second place entering Tuesday with a 609 after two rounds, finished the third day with a score of 310 for a total score of 919 for third place.
Victoria shot a 303 to finish with a 922, 12 strokes behind their Canadian counterpart and in fourth place. They were paced by the tournament's individual winner, Darren Hupfer, who finished with rounds of 79, 74 and 70.
Thomas University shot a final round 301 to finish 22 strokes back and in fifth place with a three-round score of 932.
BRITISH COLUMBIA SWEEPS WOMEN'S FIELD
Not only did the British Columbia women's team sweep to the team title by 39 strokes, the team dominated the individual standings.
The top five overall scores were all Thunderbirds, including winner Kylie Barros with a two day round of 151. Barros who also shot the low round of the women's field with a 1-under 71 on Tuesday.
UHV's Morgan DeSive shot a combined score of 163, including a second round 79 to tie for fifth place with two other golfers: UBC's Lindsay Manion and the Victoria's Alyssa Herkel.
Also for UHV, Lyndie Smith shot rounds of 87 and 85 to finish tied for 14th place with a score of 172.
The UHV women's team finished a distant fifth place after shooting rounds of 380 and 356 for a two-day score of 736.
AII CONFERENCE GOLF TOURNAMENT
OVERHEARD IN THE CLUBHOUSE
A local member, holding binoculars, heading off the course: "I'm just out here bird watching, and I saw a big eagle out on 16."
NEXT YEAR'S EVENT
Next year's AII Conference Golf tournament will be in Columbus, Geo., hosted by Thomas University.
British Columbia, 310-297-303 - 910: Andrew Robb 75-73-76 - 224; David Sheman 79-73-75 - 227; Alastair Tidcombe 78-75-76 - 229; Scott Malo 84-76-76 - 236; Jack Wesche 78-78-80 - 236.
UHV, 311-301-304 - 916: James Price 82-73-72 - 227; Jon Moore 77-74-77 - 228; Austin Griffin 78-79-74 - 231; Cory Anderson 77-76-80 - 233; Eric Garza 79-87-WD.
Cal State San Marcos 309-300-310 - 919: Adam Loran 75-72-78 - 225; Robert Nicanor 74-78-80 - 232; Marco Gomez 85-74-74 - 233; Kevin Ruby 79-78-78 - 235; Jared Hentila 81-76-82 - 239.
Victoria, 313-306-303 - 92: Darren Hupfer 79-74-70 - 223; Sam Holland 79-78-72 - 229; Dylan Cann 77-73-82 - 232; Chase Teron 78-82-79 - 239; James Holland 82-81-82 - 245.
Thomas University, 311-320-301 - 932: Matt Luckett 78-82-72 - 232; Brian Herrell 82-83-71 - 236; Blake Hightower 75-78-83 - 236; Andre Larsson 80-77-81 - 238; Sam Jackson 78-85-77 - 240.
Central Baptist 318-328-315 - 961: Matt Hedrick 77-77-77 - 231; Cameron Angerman 77-80-79 - 236; Jared Davis 77-81-78 - 236; Matt Cole 87-90-82 - 259; Patrick Leallen 90-90-81 - 261.
SUNY Dehli, 323-327-312 - 962: James Partidge 77-83-76 - 236; Thomas Garby 79-79-79 - 237; Justin Hearley 82-81-77 - 240; Kyle Lewis 85-84-80 - 249; Ryan Evans 86-92-80 - 258.
Arizona Christian, 349-340-338 - 1,027: Ryan Eres 82-76-80 - 238; Casey Morrell 81-80-82 - 243; Mason Dacanay 89-91-83 - 263; Zeke Hebbert 97-93-97 - 287; Brett Bowman 104-98-93 - 295.
British Columbia 320-308 - 628: Kylie Barros 80-71 - 151; Haley Cameron 78-79 - 157; Janelle Samoluk 81-80 - 161; Vanessa Leon 83-78 - 161; Lindsay Manion 81-82 - 163.
Victoria, 335-332 - 667: Alyssa Herkel 79-84 - 163; Legan Woodland 87-78 - 165; Michaela Misener 83-87 - 170; Kailey Dirksen 89-83 - 172; Victoria Kondrak 86-87 - 173.
Cal State San Marcos 345-336 - 681: Lisa Copeland 83-83 - 166; Linnel DaVilla 83-85 - 168; Felicia Titus 91-81 - 172; Cora Busby 88-87 - 175; Megan Pechner 91-87 - 178.
Thomas University, 352-339 - 691: Jessica Macphee 84-83 - 167; Jaycee Eunice 86-82 - 168; Amanda Morse 89-89 - 178; Jessica Thunberg 93-85 - 178.
UHV, 380-356 - 736: Morgan DeSive 84-79 - 163; Lyndie Smith 87-85 - 172; Larissa Loredo 100-92 - 192; Devon Dueser 109-100 - 209.
Arizona Christian: Carolina Vazquez 91-85 - 176.