By Curtis Acosta
Arizona Daily Wildcat
One Arizona team was able to beat Miami (Ohio) over spring break.
The Wildcats men's golf team did some clutch shooting in the final two rounds to finish fifth at the Golf Digest Collegiate Invitational, in Houston. The Redskins finished dead last, in 18th place.
The UA rebounded from one of its slowest starts of the year to have a surprisingly successful finish in a tournament loaded with top competition. No. 2 Oklahoma State won the tournament, which included eight of the top 10 and 15 of the top 20 ranked teams in the nation.
Arizona found itself in 13th place after the first round of action March 10. The Wildcats had disappointing rounds from most of the team, including junior Tim Beans. The team's leading performer this year, Beans struggled throughout the tournament, posting his highest scores of the year. With the absence of Beans from the leader board, the Wildcats were forced to turn to a familiar face to take control.
Ted Purdy rebounded from what has been a tough year and paced the team during the tournament. Purdy shot a 1-under 71 in the second round to bring the Wildcats back to eighth place. Purdy finished the tournament tied for eighth place.
The second round was a highlight for the team, as only Oklahoma State and North Carolina shot lower scores. Benjamin Nicolay and Matt Bergstrom also had great rounds, shooting a par 72 and a 1-over 73, respectively.
The Wildcats maintained their great second-round play by racing past three teams during the final round and finishing the tournament with a needed top five finish.
The emergence of Purdy as a top finisher, along with more consistent play from Nicolay and Bergstrom, has given the Wildcats the depth they need against quality competition. If Beans returns to his usual top-level performance, the Wildcats will be in better position for postseason play.
The team concludes its Texas road trip today with final round play in the Morris WMS Intercollegiate in Austin.
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