Nallen claimes medalist honors
HUMBLE, Texas ?Lead by the strong play of individual medalist Chris Nallen, the Arizona Wildcats claimed their third tournament victory of the season by winning the first Hall of Fame Invitational at Redstone Golf Club by scoring a final round two-under-par 286 to move its team total to 18-under-under-par 846. Nallen?s final round 70 moved his tournament best total to 14-under. The titles were the third of the year for both Arizona and Nallen.
Arizona held a one-shot advantage over Texas coming into the day and through most of the final round. Down the stretch, however, Wildcats? four counters birdied their final hole while the Longhorns dropped seven shots to par over their last three holes. Texas late round struggles caused them to fall to third after Oklahoma State shot three-under. Oklahoma tallied the best team total of the day after scoring 284 and placed fourth.
Due to rain and lightning in the area, play was delayed for two hours from its scheduled 7:30 tee times resulting in a 9:30 shotgun start. Because of the damp conditions and difficult final round pin positions, only three teams - Arizona, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma - managed to score under par in the final round.
"The team played great", commented Arizona Head Coach Rick LaRose. "We were very consistent in our play. Of course, we rode Chris Nallen. He?s our horse and when he gets off to a good start it takes a lot of heat off the other guys. I think that it frees them up to do what they can do best. We made a few mistakes but we finished like champs today. All of our counters birdied their last hole today. It made a big swing in the score because it was pretty close up until then. I?m really proud of the way these guys hung in there. I think they learned a little about themselves and we?re just real happy that we won here in Houston. It really means a lot to us."
Nallen?s 70 pushed him to a total of 202 and a six-stroke victory. Oklahoma State?s Alex Noren was runner-up with an eight-under 208 and Jason Hartwick of Texas placed third at seven-under. Oklahoma?s Carlos Del Moral fired the best score of the round - 68 - to move into a tie for fourth with the Cowboys Tyler Leon at minus-seven.
"It was obviously a successful week, said Nallen. "We worked hard coming into this tournament after Vegas. We just followed the things we did in practice and we executed pretty well this week. I was really happy with my play. The first two rounds my putter was real hot. Today it took a little bit of a nap but to shoot 70 today, the conditions were a little tougher with the rain and soft conditions."
Hall of Fame Invitational
Final Team and Individual Results
|2.||Oklahoma State||289-278-285=852 (-12)|
|5.||English National Team||288-285-293=866 (+2)|
|6.||New Mexico||290-280-297=867 (+3)|
|9.||Arizona State||288-287-304=879 (+15)|
|11.||Texas A&M||283-291-310=884 (+20)|
|12.||Francis Marion||288-298-301=887 (+23)|
|15.||East Tennessee State||294-304-306=904 (+40)|
|17.||Swedish National Team||303-301-304=908 (+44)|
|1.||Chris Nallen, Arizona||66-66-70=202 (-14)|
|2.||Alex Noren, Oklahoma State||71-68-69=208 (-8)|
|3.||Jason Hartwick, Texas||74-65-70=209 (-7)|
|T4.||Carlos Del Moral, Oklahoma||73-69-68=210 (-6)|
|T4.||Tyler Leon, Oklahoma State||73-68-69=210 (-6)|