MADERA, Calif. – Holding off a ferocious charge from BYU, the Nevada men’s golf team claimed the team title by one stroke at the Nick Watney Invitational. Sophomore Joey Vrzich took home the individual title.
“I’m so happy for my guys to get the team win and the feeling that comes with it,” said head coach Jacob Wilner. “To win wire-to-wire is a testament of how well rounded we are throughout the lineup.”
The Wolf Pack began the day with an 11-shot lead over BYU and had to hold off a strong push all day from the Cougars. Nevada combined for a team score of 282 in the final round, good for 6-under par, but BYU played an incredible 16-under on the day and nearly caught up with the Pack. Nevada did what it had to do though in order to stay ahead of its closest competitor, winning by one shot at 30-under par for the tournament.
This is the 31st team title in program history and the fourth under Wilner, with three of those four coming in each of the last three seasons. For Vrzich, this gives him two wins in just three events so far this fall after he also won the individual title at the season-opening Badger Invite. His other finish of the season wasn’t too bad either with a tie for second place at the Husky Invitational. Vrzich is just the third player in Wolf Pack history to win multiple tournaments in the same season and the first to do so since Sprague Kolp in 2000-01.
Vrzich finished the event at 14-under par after posting rounds of 66-66-70 and beat out runner-up Carson Lundell of BYU by two strokes. In his three rounds of play, Vrzich totaled 19 birdies which was tied for the most in the entire 69-player field. Additionally he made just five bogeys in 54 holes of action. His three-round total score of 202 ties the 54-hole program low record.
All together Nevada had four of its top scorers place inside the top 15, three of whom finished in the top 10. Junior Sam Meek recorded his first top five finish of the season as he grabbed sole possession of fifth. Meek had a near flawless day out on the course with his only blemish being a bogey on No. 13. He carded a 3-under 69 in the final round and finished the event at 8-under. The other Sam, Sam Harned, notched a career-best tie for sixth place after he ended his run at 6-under par, also a career low.
More career bests were had from junior Stephen Osborne, who earned the first top 15 finish of his career. With an even par 72 on Tuesday, Osborne locked in a score of 2-under par for the tournament to tie for 15th place. Newcomer Tony Gil rounded out the Pack lineup with a tie for 51st, but carded his best round of the event with an even par 72 today, making eagle on the par 5 13th. Freshman Trey Davis also tied for 51st but was entered in the event as an individual.
Nevada looks to continue its strong start to the year in its next event, the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational, held Oct. 25-27 at the Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton, Calif.
1. Joey Vrzich, 66-66-70=202 (-14)
5. Sam Meek, 66-73-69=208 (-8)
T6. Sam Harned, 72-67-71=210 (-6)
T15. Stephen Osborne, 72-70-72=214 (-2)
T51. Tony Gil, 78-76-72=226 (+10)
T51. Trey Davis (ind.), 74-77-75=226 (+10)