GRANSONVILLE, Md. – A day after playing in 30 degree weather on a wet course, the Arkansas men’s golf team adjusted well to the conditions during Sunday’s final round of the Whiting-Turner Towson Invitational held at Prospect Bay Country Club by shooting a tournament-low 287 en route to a 16-stroke win over the 23-team field.
Arkansas entered the day two strokes off the lead but was able to come away with the commanding win thanks to a one-under 70 by redshirt sophomore Zach Coats and an even-par 71 by junior Taylor Moore, which were two of the three even-par or lower rounds turned in by the entire 120-player field on Sunday.
The Razorbacks improved on their first round score of 302 by 15 strokes with a 287, highlighted by playing the course’s par 5s at three-under par each day. Arkansas’ 287 was eight strokes clear of the next best round turned in by any of the other 22 teams over the weekend.
Critical in the program’s 21st team title under head coach Brad McMakin is the 19-0 head-to-head record it leaves the weekend with. The Razorbacks are now 46-12-1 through four events in the spring and, more importantly, are now 12 games over .500 on the year with the Aggie Invitational and SEC Championships still remaining. To qualify for an NCAA Regional, teams must hold a .500 head-to-head record or better.
Junior Nicolas Echavarria entered the day tied for the lead after a first round even-par 71 and looked to have the individual title within reach until Seton Hall’s Lloyd Jeffer Go birdied four of his last five holes for the one-stroke win. The runner-up finish is a career-best for Echavarria, who wrapped up the weekend with a two-over 73.
Echavarria was one of three Razorbacks in the top five and one of five in the top 10, as Coats and redshirt junior Kolton Crawford each finished in a tie for fourth place. Coats’ one-under 70 in the final round equaled the lowest score by anyone in the field over the two rounds, while he led the tournament in birdies (10) and par 5 scoring (-5). Coats improved his first round score by eight strokes and played the course’s back nine a combined four-under over the two rounds.
Crawford’s top five is his third of the spring, as he followed Saturday’s 75 with a 73 on Sunday. Despite the tough conditions, Crawford avoided trouble the entire weekend with nothing worse than a bogey while never carding back-to-back bogeys. He now has a counting score in 10 of 11 spring rounds.
After having his streak of 15 straight rounds of shooting 72 or lower snapped on Saturday, Moore responded with his team-leading 14th even-par or lower round of the year. Moore’s even-par 71 moved him up 18 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for eighth place, good for his fourth straight top 10. Freshman Alvaro Ortiz nearly made it a clean sweep with all five starters in the top 20, as his scorecard of 78-77/155 landed him in a tie for 23rd position.
Playing as an individual, freshman Emil Soegaard was the fifth Razorback in the top 10 in a tie for eighth place with Moore. Highlighted by 16 pars on the course’s back nine over the two rounds, Soegaard led the field with 26 total for the tournament. He followed his 77 on Saturday with a 73 in the final round for his first career top 10.
Arkansas will turn its attention to the Aggie Invitational at Traditions Club in College Station, Texas. The 54-hole tournament will begin on Saturday with 36 holes.
2. Nicolas Echavarria – 71 (E)–73/144
T4. Zach Coats – 78–70 (-1)/148
T4. Kolton Crawford – 75-73/148
T8. Taylor Moore – 79–71 (E)/150
T23. Alvaro Ortiz – 78-77/155
T8. Emil Soegaard (Individual) – 77-73/150
Whiting-Turner Towson Invitational Final Standings
1. Arkansas – 302-287/589
2. William & Mary – 300-305/605
3. Seton Hall – 318-295/613
4. Robert Morris – 316-298/614
5. Hofstra – 314-308/622
T6. Long Island – 321-308/629
T6. Towson – 312-317/629
8. Rutgers – 326-307/633
9. Colgate – 313-324/637
10. Navy – 322-317/639
11. Saint Peter’s – 324-316/640
12. Fairleigh Dickson – 335-306/641
13. Fairfield – 325-319/644
14. St. Bonaventure – 326-320/646
15. Sacred Heart – 335-312/647
16. IUP – 334-316/650
17. Penn – 323-328/651
18. Towson Team B – 334-320/654
19. IUPUI – 340-317/657
20. Washington & Lee – 335-323/658
21. UMass-Lowell – 333-331/664
22. Siena – 332-335/667
23. Maryland Eastern-Shore – 358-351/709