March 2, 2014
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech begins play in the annual Argent Financial Classic beginning Monday at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant, hosting 13 teams including in-state foes UL-Monroe and UL-Lafayette.
Originally scheduled for a 54-hole, three-round tournament weather forecasts calling for below freezing temperatures have forced officials to cut the tournament down to a 36-hole, two-round tournament that will begin with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Monday. Admission is free to all spectators at Squire Creek Country Club.
“We are excited to host the Argent Financial Classic and a great field of teams,” Louisiana Tech coach Jeff Parks said. “Victor Lange will be a favorite to win the individual title but any of our five have the ability to play well. It is just a matter of making putts and managing the game’s pressure well. We shot well in qualifying but the weather will likely dictate everyone’s score this week.”
Conference USA foe North Texas is the top-ranked team in the tournament entering the week ranked 73rd while UL-Lafayette enters ranked 84. The Ragin’ Cajuns dropped last week after finishing 13th at the Bayou City Collegiate Championships in Houston, two spots behind Louisiana Tech.
Central Arkansas will also be a notable team to beat as the Bears enter the week ranked 85th.
Lange, named the Conference USA Co-Golfer of the Week after finishing second at the Bayou City Collegiate Championships, leads LA Tech in the home tournament. The sophomore from Johannesburg, South Africa shot 7-under-par in his last outing led by a career-best round of 5-under-par 67.
A win or even a strong showing in the Argent Financial Classic will be key for the Bulldogs postseason chances from an at-large perspective.
“We need to build on our first two rounds from our last tournament and continue to improve,” Parks said. “The next four events will be crucial to getting an possible at-large postseason bid. A conference championship is always the goal but our plan is to not rely on that year-in and year-out.”
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