It was cold, and it was windy. But it didn’t seem to matter to the ACU golf team.
The Wildcats won in their first tournament of the spring season, and Corbin Renner, senior from Little Rock, Arkansas, claimed the individual title at the University of Texas-Pan Americam classic Tuesday. It was the first win for the Wildcats since September and the first victory for Renner since 2013.
“We hung on and battled the whole time,” said Tim Shaw, head coach. “We put ourselves in position to win the end and then closed it out.”
The ‘Cats started Tuesday with a one-stroke lead on the field. The team combined to shoot 304 and win by six strokes. However, Renner needed more than 54 holes to finish first.
After three rounds, he and UTPA’s Nicolas Platret were tied. Renner sunk a birdie on the second hole of the playoff to clinch the win.
“I’ve been in quite a few playoffs, and I knew that all it takes is a few good swings,” Renner said. “Sure enough, that’s all it took.”
Renner shot 225 for the tournament. Clarke Hudgins, freshman from Amarillo, was hot on his teammate’s heels, shooting only four strokes worse than Renner and earning fourth (228). Dillon Vaughn, junior from Joshua, started and ended the tournament on a high note with two rounds at 75. He finished tied for sixth (231).
“I knew Corbin was going to win that playoff just by the look in his high eye,” Shaw said. “He knew he had unfinished business out there, and that is just the kind of competitor that he is.”
Brandon Wilkins, junior from Aledo, appeared in his first tournament for the Wildcats and fought his way to 12th place (236). Kaden Walters, senior from Fort Worth, rounded out the team with a 14th-place finish (240).
The weather played a key role in the two-day tournament. A cold front blew in after the first round Monday, and scores jumped as everyone faced 30-mph winds and a temperature drop.
“It affected our mental state more than our actual game,” Shaw said. “We’ve played in high winds, but it came on so fast that it might have cost us some strokes. We kept our composure, though.”
Renner jumped out to an early lead Monday, shooting a four under. His second round score of 79 dropped him into second place after day one. Platret shot a two-round score of 148 to take a one-stroke lead over Renner into Tuesday.
Sophomores Robert Johnson, from Helensburgh, Scotland, and Hunter Rawls, from Lubbock, participated in the tournament as individuals, meaning their scores did not affect the team’s total. Johnson finished tied for 20th, and Rawls tied for 18th.
“This win is a great spark for what’s to come the rest of the season,” Renner said. “We’re all focused and ready for the next one.”
The ‘Cats have nearly a month off until their next tournament on March 9 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.