March 4, 2014
CHOUDRANT, La. - Despite a one-shot lead entering the final round Louisiana Tech was unable to hang on and was clipped by North Texas on the final day of action at the Argent Financial Classic hosted by the Bulldogs at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant.
The Bulldogs finished second overall out of 13 teams, beating three teams ranked in the top 100 in the country. North Texas, which was the highest-rated team in the field at No. 73, claimed the team title with a 10-over-par (294-292=586) final score while LA Tech shot 12-over-par (293-295=588). Sam Houston State, which finished in third at 18-over-par (307-287=594) shot the only sub-par round of the tournament on Tuesday at 1-under-par.
"I hate that we couldn't finish with a tournament title but we put ourselves in a great position to win," Louisiana Tech head coach Jeff Parks said. "We got within two shots of a team ranked 73rd in the nation. We beat a lot of teams ranked ahead of us and that should help continue to move us up in the rankings as we strive for a postseason bid. Today we were just one or two putts away from victory."
Louisiana Tech's Victor Lange as named to the All-Tournament Team as he finished third with an even-par score (71+73=144) over the course of the two rounds. This marks the second top-five finish in as many tournaments for the sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Lange also recorded a better finish than two invidually ranked golfers, No. 31 Jason Roets (North Texas) and No. 99 James Newton (Central Arkansas). Both Roets and Newton finished tied for ninth at 3-over-par (147). No. 51 Pep Angles (Central Arkansas) won the individual title at 2-under-par (70-72=142) while Sam Houston State's Albert Miner finished second at 1-under-par (75-68=143) after shooting a tournament-best 4-under-par 68 Tuesday.
Additionally for the Bulldogs, Chuck Spears notched one of his best finishes in his young career as he placed tied for 13th at 5-over-par (75+74=149). All of the Bulldogs playing towards the team score finished in the top 20.
"Victor had another great week where he finished third overall and Chuck played well to finish 13th," Parks said of the individual efforts. "Every single one of our guys played well, finishing in the top 20. I am proud of the way they battled the elements. They played through tough conditions. We just ended up two or three shots from what we wanted as a team."
Tuesday's final round was delayed until an 11:30 a.m. start as below-freezing temperatures kept course officials working hard to prepare the course for play.
"I want to thank Argent Financial for sponsoring this tournament and helping to make this happen," said Parks. "Also a big thank you to Squire Creek Country Club for everything they do in terms of food, course preparation and the great service staff on hand. Also our volunteers who braved the cold temperatures to help make this tournament happen."
The Bulldogs return to action on March 9-10 as LA Tech heads to Lafayette for the Louisiana Classics hosted by Louisiana-Lafayette. Tech will try to upend the Ragin' Cajuns on their home course after beating them by 10 strokes Tuesday.
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