Alex Carpenter is a firm believer in the old wise tale, “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.”
Sitting in a tie for second going into the final round of the Golf Week’s Spring Invitational at Reunion Resort and Arnold Palmer’s Legacy Course, the sophomore from Little Rock, Ark., got out to a slow start on the tournament’s final day but persevered and shot a (-7) 65, enough to take first place at the first tournament of the 2011 spring season for the golf team.
“Well, playing in this tournament was definitely a little rough at first for all of us because it was our first tournament since the long break,” Carpenter said. “I was just looking to play a solid round of golf Tuesday and do all that I can to put the team in a favorable position, and I feel like I did that. The team played very well overall too. I was glad that all of my hard work paid off, and it feels good to help the team.”
The win marks Carpenter’s fifth consecutive first-place finish and gives him nine tournament wins in his young collegiate career.
Played at an Arnold Palmer signature course, the tournament presented many challenges and unique conditions to play in for the competing golfers, said junior Cyril Bouniol.
“It was a great course and was designed very well,” Bouniol said. “The conditions – the wind, in particular – made it that much more challenging to us. But I think that played to our advantage because of being from West Texas, where the wind is always prevalent.”
Carpenter double bogeyed hole No. 1 but eagled the par 5 third. He then birdied four of the next five holes. After birdies on the par 5 15th, Carpenter would knock in an eagle to get to 7 under for the round and 13 under for the tournament.
Bouniol had six birdies and shot a three under on Tuesday to finish even par for the tournament. He ended up shooting a 69 (-3), good for a top-15 finish.
“I felt really good about this tournament. It is a great atmosphere and was a great experience,” he said. “Our team played great, and this was the right way to start the spring season. I feel like we’re building lots of team chemistry, and we’re playing for the team’s purpose, and not our own.”
Tyler Sheppard and Adam Carpenter supplied solid showings as well. Carpenter improved upon his back-to-back 76’s and shot even par the final day. Sheppard earned a top-30 finish, shooting +4 for the tournament.
The Wildcats will return to action Monday for a tournament in Austin at the St. Edward’s Invitational.