Nevada men’s golf wins its invitational
GENOA — With the Wolf Pack’s top player not at 100 percent and a freshman carding the best score that wouldn’t even count, the University of Nevada could have had a built in excuse for not winning it’s own tournament.
But Nevada just used those circumstances to demonstrate its depth, which is what’s needed to win a college golf tournament. Nevada did just that, winning the title of its own Wolf Pack Invitational on Tuesday at the Golf Club at Genoa Lakes.
The first place finish came after finishes of 11th and fifth place in Nevada’s previous two tournaments.
“I feel like we’re starting to go in the right direction,” Nevada coach Tom Duncan said.
Nevada finished with a three-round, 54-hole total of 851 for 13-under-par in the two-day tournament on the par-72 course. UTEP placed second with an 856.
Freshman Josh Green placed third in the tournament with a three-round total total of 8-under-par 208 (69-69-70). But since Green was the No. 7 player on Nevada’s team going into the tournament, he wasn’t included on the Wolf Pack’s five-man roster.
The Wolf Pack, though, still had three other players finish in the top 10. Ian Hagen and Adam Martin tied for seventh at 4-under 212 (Hagen 70-73-69, Martin 71-69-72).
Martin salvaged par in his final round on Tuesday by shooting birdies on four of his last five holes. “He came out and really did a great job,” Duncan said.
Nevada’s Ivan Holmes placed ninth with a 3-under 213 (71-73-69). The Wolf Pack’s top player, Sprague Kolp, was battling the flu and struggled to a 3-over 219 (74-71-74).
“We rely on him,” Duncan said. “He’s one of our leaders. We’re a better team with him. He’s an academic All-American.
“It’s a five-man team. You just can’t win with one player in college anymore. Golf is getting better everywhere in the country.”
Duncan said Green earned a place on Nevada’s five-man team when it competes in its next tournament hosted by Fresno State.
Even though Green said he didn’t drive that well this week, but made up for it with his short game in his first tournament for the Wolf Pack.
“My putting was on this week,” Green said. “I made the putts when I had to.”
With one exception. Green appeared to be heading to another round below 70 on Tuesday when he shot 33 on the front nine. He birdied the sixth, seventh and eighth holes.
He missed a chance, though, for birdie on the par-5 ninth, settling for par. Green then hit into the trees on the 10th hole, but chipped onto the green within three feet of the hole where it looked like he would save par. “Then I just pulled it, missed,” said Green, who bogeyed the hole.
“I wanted to beat 70 all three rounds. I had that in my grasp. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
“I’m happy. It was my first tournament. I guess I’ll take it. I let a few shots go, but that happens.”
Green’s first two rounds were identical as he shot 34-35 with the same number of putts for his 69s.
“We had some young kids step up and play well this week,” said Duncan about his team.