MADISON, WI – Nevada men’s golf senior Sam Harned collected the first win of his collegiate career on Tuesday, winning the season-opening Badger Invitational.
Harned, who began his career with the Wolf Pack as a walk-on, is the third Nevada player in the last 12 months to win an individual title. Senior Sam Meek won a tournament back in March and former Wolf Pack student-athlete Joey Vrzich won twice last fall. In Nevada’s last 12 events, which dates back to the season opener last year, the Pack has placed at least one student-athlete in the top five nine times.
Beginning the day two shots back of the lead and in a tie for sixth, Harned played a near flawless round of golf on Tuesday to propel him to the top of the leaderboard. He carded an 8-under round of 64 on the final day, which tied his career low and helped him finish 12-under for the tournament. He collected nine birdies throughout his final round and just one bogey. In 54 holes of play, Harned committed just five bogeys and totaled 17 birdies.
Harned had a three-shot lead at the conclusion of his round, but had to wait for others to finish up behind him. In the end, he bested runner-up Hunter Ostrom of Notre Dame by one stroke.
Harned’s strong play helped the Wolf Pack jump five spots on the team leaderboard and earn a top five to open the season, finishing fifth. Nevada combined for a team score of 278, a 10-under par round and its best of the event. Overall the Wolf Pack was one of five teams in the field of 16 to conclude the tournament under par as it finished at 2-under. Notre Dame ran away with the team title at 22-under, 14 shots better than runner-up Kansas.
Nevada saw solid performances on the course from a couple of its other golfers as Meek and senior Tony Gil each turned in their best rounds of the event. Meek shaved eight strokes off his score from round two to round three, carding a 5-under 67 on Tuesday. He jumped 37 spots on the leaderboard to finish in a tie for 29th place at 3-over par. Gil on the other hand posted the team’s second-best finish of the tournament, tying for 17th place. He fired a 2-under 70 in the final round to finish under par for the event at 1-under.
Sophomore Trey Davis shot a 78 on Tuesday and tied for 70th place. Freshman Connor Motherway tied for 74th in his collegiate debut.
Nevada is back in action next week Sept. 16-17 at the Husky Invitational in Bremerton, Wash.
1. Sam Harned, 70-70-64=204 (-12)
T17. Tony Gil, 74-71-70=215 (-1)
T29. Sam Meek, 77-75-67=219 (+3)
T70. Trey Davis, 72-77-78=227 (+11)
T74. Connor Motherway, 75-77-77=229 (+13)