It’s called a sophomore slump. A player has a really good rookie year in the pros and gets everyone’s expectations up, then has a bad second year. It has happened to even the best rookies out there – except for Alex Carpenter.
With four wins, his freshman year was almost too good to believe. This fall he has three wins in the four matches he has played, including one against the premier players in the nation two weeks ago in the Division II National Preview Tournament.
His third win came Tuesday in the Bruce Williams Memorial Invitational at Dominion Country Club in San Antonio, where he shot a 70 in the final round to finish at four under par for the tournament.Â Carpenter hit an unbelievable second shot on the 18thÂ hole, a par 5, and came within five feet of the flagstick. A tap-in for eagle put him in a tie with Colby Shrum from the University of Central Oklahoma for the win.
“It is an awesome feeling to win,” Carpenter said. “There was a lot of good competition out there on the course so it is an honor to come home in first.”
One stroke behind Carpenter was defending Div. II National Champion Cyril Bouniol, who shot a 67 on his final round to vault him into third.
“It was our first time playing on Bermuda grass, so I think that is why our scores improved through the rounds,” Bouniol said. “We are a talented group of friends that can accomplish great things this year.”
The Wildcats as a team are second place behind Central Oklahoma, led by Shrum. The two teams have battled all fall and are likely to continue in the Lone Star Conference tournament in the spring.
“Central Oklahoma is a great team with five good players down the board,” Carpenter said. “Its gonna be a fight come LSC tournament time.”
The ‘Cats will travel to Florida next week for their last tournament of the year in the Queens Invitational hosted by Queens University. The tournament will be played at the historic TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verde Beach, where the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) holds its annual major tournament “The Player’s Championship.” The collegiate golfers will be playing the “Valley” course instead of the “Stadium” course where the pros play.
“The Nationwide Tour just played a match there, so the course should be in great shape,” Carpenter said. “It’s really cool to get to travel around the nation and represent ACU well.”