Photo courtesy UTEP Athletics.
MONTGOMERY, Texas – UTEP’s Oskar Ambrosius clinched his first collegiate championship, as the sophomore fired a 68 and punched in a 4-under par in the final round at the Bearkat Invitational at Walden on Lake Conroe Golf Club (par 72/6,756 yards) Tuesday afternoon.
Ambrosius (70-71-68—209) and Stephen F. Austin’s Angelo Leyvani (69-72-68—209) each finished at 7-under par, but Ambrosius birdied hole no. 18 to defeat Leyvani on the playoff hole. Sam Houston State’s William Holcomb (66-72-72—210), who led after two rounds, finished tied for third with UTRGV’s Pedro Lamadrid (70-70-70—210).
“He played flawlessly all week but today he just made a few more putts and took advantage of the par fives a little bit better today,” UTEP Head Coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “He just played excellent golf today. This is a course that you have to put the ball in play. The most important part, it requires good iron play. The greens are so small and with the up-and-downs, you’re going to miss a lot of greens. It’s a difficult course to score on but he played great and hit a lot of really good iron shots this week, which obviously plays into the strength of this golf course. His short game has really come along nicely over the past year.”
Ambrosius penciled in 15 birdies during the two-day event, the second most tallied, and shot 8-under par on par 5 holes.
Overall, the Miners (297-285-286—868) moved up two spots and finished in second place at 4-over par. Sam Houston State (290-287-287—864) claimed the team championship after rallying with a 287 in the third round and finishing at even par. UTRGV (283-284-306—873) led the field at 9-under par after the first two rounds, but stumbled on the final day and recorded an 18-over par to place fourth.
“I don’t think by any means we played our best golf and a lot of the guys felt like they left a lot out there,” Lieberwirth said. “I told them not to be disappointed that they didn’t win, but to be encouraged we almost won a golf tournament without playing our best. We’re still trying to clean up basics scoring possibilities and continue to do a better job, and we’ll see our results improve.”
Aaron Terrazas (71-72-70—213) finished with a solid third round, moving up four spots to sixth after shooting 2-under par in the third round. Terrazas (-3) finished four strokes behind the winner. The senior eagled hole no. 2 and parred the final two holes played.
“Aaron had a good finish to his day,” Lieberwirth said. “He had a lot of opportunities to shoot better and make more birdies than he did today. He had that eagle late in his round, which was really good.”
Eduardo Gonzalez (80-71-74—225) got off to a slow start in the third round after recording a double bogey on his first hole and bogeying the second hole. The junior recovered and birdied three holes to move up nine spots to tie for 29th.
“Eduardo got off to an awful start today and he did the same thing in round one, but never recovered,” Lieberwirth said. “He did today. He held it together and put in a good score. I’m proud of him despite his tough start.”
Up next, UTEP will compete at the 73rd Western Intercollegiate Presented by Topgolf April 15-17. The three-day event will be televised on the GOLF Channel.