After what most would consider a less-than-ideal start to a highly anticipated spring season, the Wildcats responded with their first tournament win since February of 2015.
ACU shot 7-under-par as a team for a total score of 857, and junior Garrett Glanton shot 7-under-par to finish third individually and lead the team to just its third team victory during Shaw’s tenure.
The Wildcats grabbed the lead in the early going but finished the first round in second place, seven shots behind Bradley. In the second round, though, ACU posted the lowest team score and cut Bradley’s lead to just one shot in heading into Tuesday’s final round.
Bradley retained that lead for most of the day, but it was freshman Alex Clouse and Glanton coming through on the 18th hole to secure the win. After Clouse eagled the hole to give ACU a one stroke lead, Glanton added insurance with a two-putt birdie that led to a celebration and two-stroke advantage over Bradley to clinch the team championship.
“I think it’s a huge boost for us because it shows the guys that they can play well from the start of the tournament and continue that until the end,” head coach Tom Shaw said. “In this event, we were able to come back from a deficit, but also lose the lead and regain it and close the deal. We need to be in more of those situations to help us grow stronger as a team in the future.”
Glanton went 67-71-71 to record a total score of 209, and Clouse finished in a tie for 11th that included teammate and fellow classmate Chase Allison at a three-round total of 215. Sophomore Bryce Dooley came in at 6-over-par for the tournament, and junior Kade Miller carded a total of 227 to round out the Wildcat scorers.
University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley finished in third for the tournament four shots behind Bradley and six shots off ACU’s pace. Houston Baptist was the only other Southland Conference competitor to break the top-five, finishing at 5-over-par. Other Southland Conference teams at the tournament included Central Arkansas, Incarnate Word and Southeastern Louisiana, whom finished in eighth, ninth and tenth place.
Shaw said this win, which is the first against an entirely Div. 1 field, was a good team win.
“This one was different because it came against a much stronger field and against some of our conference opponents,” Shaw said. “The other ones were nice, but they didn’t involve some of the same opponents that we’ll face in our conference Championship in April. This one was a true team win because everybody contributed, and we played well from top of the lineup to the bottom.”
The Wildcats schedule gets tougher as they head to the Bob Sitton Invitational next weekend, a tournament they played in last season and finished in 16th. After that the team will head to the West Coast for one of the toughest tournaments in the program’s history, The Goodwin, which is hosted by Stanford and will feature defending national champion Oklahoma.