Sam Houston State men’s golf had a quick turnaround to play at the Pepperdine Jones Invitational in Valencia, California on Monday and today.
This came after an impressive runner-up finish at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship on Sunday in Houston.
“We knew what was going to happen going into the tournaments, knew it was going to be tough going in,” head coach Brandt Kieschnick said. “So we just worked hard and prepared ourselves.”
The Bearkats ended day one of competition tied for fifth place with Brigham Young, and senior Zach Cabra leading all Bearkats at a share of 15th place.
The Kats are 18 strokes behind Southern California, who leads the competition at 11-under with total score of 565.
“They are playing well and hard, and we feel good going into the third round,” Kieschnick said.
Cabra shot one-under in the first round but could not repeat the same play in the second round, firing one-over. He ended the last hole of the second round with a birdie. Cabra’s overall par performance puts him at a tie with host Pepperdine’s Kevin DeHuff, BYU’s Jordan Rogers and Northwestern’s Joshua Jamieson.
Senior J.T. Taylor continued his momentum from the Bayou City Collegiate Championship with a one-under performance in the first round. His round was highlighted with back-to-back birdies in the 11th and 12th holes. Taylor had a tough second round after beginning the round with a birdie. In the 14th hole of the round, Taylor had a double bogey.
Sophomore Andrew Ertel and senior Logan Boatner finished the first day sharing 26th place with four others on the playing field, including two golfers from Georgia State. Ertel fired two-over in the first round followed by a one-over in the second. Boatner finished the opposite in the two rounds.
Freshman Jake McCrory did not start the day off hot. He was able to cut a seven-over first round to a two-over in the second but heads into the third round at 57th place.
Each Bearkat produced four birdies in the second round except Taylor, who only had two.
Kennesaw State’s Teremoana Beaucousin is well past the rest of the playing field with a three-stroke lead over second place Zach Seabolt from Winthrop. Beaucousin shot a 66 in the first round followed by a 69 second round.
The Owls are only six shots back of leader USC with Winthrop at third place sitting two-under after the rounds.
SHSU made headlines when the team almost beat out No. 9 South Carolina for first in Houston on Sunday, losing only by two shots. Cabra won first place individually with a final round score of 65 to claim his fifth individualist honors in his collegiate career. He ended the tournament three strokes ahead of shared second place golfers Kyle Jones from Baylor, University of Arkansas’s Kolton Crawford and Charlotte’s Raoul Menard.
The Bearkats fired eight-under in the second round and 11-under in the final round to put up the best team score among the competition for Sunday’s third round. This came after shooting 295 on the first day.
Taylor had a seventh place share to end the tournament after firing for 50th place the spring season opener at Texas-San Antonio’s Oak Hills Invitational. Ertel ended tournament tied for 23rd while Boatner and McCrory shared 29th shooting 219 each for the tournament. In individual competition, Hodges finished tied for 47th with a final score of 223.
The Kats will tee-off today beginning in the second group of teams. McCrory will leadoff SHSU at 8:15 a.m. Another Bearkat will tee-off every seven minutes with Cabra being the last at 8:51 a.m. with Northwestern’s Charles Wang and BYU’s Cole Ogden.
Contributing Reporter Matthew Stanford contributed to this report.