Men’s golf suffers rare downturn in form at Aggie Invitational

Ryder Martin, Sports Editor

The UTSA men’s golf team, coming off of a fifth-place finish at the Bayou City Collegiate Classic the week prior, took part in the 54-hole Aggie Invitational from Friday, April 9, through Sunday, April 11. Competing against a stacked field with seven other ranked teams, including the number one team in the nation, Oklahoma, it was clear that if UTSA wanted to fight for the win, they would need their best golf. Unfortunately for the Roadrunners, the form they displayed during the tournament was a rare misstep for a team that has been amongst the consistent of all the athletic programs at UTSA. The ‘Runners never quite found their groove out on the course and slumped to an 11th place finish out of 17 teams for the tournament. 

The tournament teed off on Friday with the first round, and UTSA found themselves in a heated battle on the team leaderboard. UTSA shot an overall score of 300 as a team, 12 over par, leaving them in a tie for 10th place after day one. Individually the ‘Runners were paced by four players in a tie for 21st with a two over par 74. Michael Rome, Collin Clark and Christian Fanfelle led the way with those rounds for UTSA in the team competition, and Adam House, who was competing in the tournament as an individual, joined them in 21st. Meanwhile, the 93rd ranked individual golfer in the country, Chad Sewell saw his tournament get off to a slow start after carding a six over par 78, leaving him in a tie for 62nd. Bringing up the rear for UTSA was Hunter Bott, fresh off his best career finish at the previous weeks’ tournament, who sat in a tie for 81st at nine over par. 

Day two on Saturday produced mixed results for the ‘Runners as they slid into sole possession of 11th place after firing a 15 over par 303 in round two. In the team competition, Rome led the way for UTSA after shooting a one over par 73, leaving him a tie for 16th. House stayed hot for the tournament, shooting even par in round two, leaving him just eight shots back of individual leader Sam Bennet from Texas A&M. Sitting three strokes behind Rome in a tie for 41st was Fanfelle at six over par. Sewell endured another tough day, shooting another 78 leaving him stranded in a tie for 64th at 12 over par for the tournament. Bott had a minor rebound on day two, shooting a four over par 76 to climb eight spots into a tie for 73rd. Plummeting down the leaderboard for the ‘Runners on day two, though, was Clark. The senior endured a brutal second round where he shot a 15 over par 87 to drop into a tie for 83rd. 

On the final day of the tournament, the ‘Runners capped off a tournament marked by unsteady play with another inconsistent round. The ‘Runners 301 in the final round saw them finish the tournament with a total score of 904 to end the tournament at 40 over par, finishing in 11th place and trailing North Texas and Houston by five strokes for ninth place. Individually Rome finished as the highest placed Roadrunner taking part in the team competition in a tie for 34th at eight over par for the tournament, following a final round 77. House saw his shot at a top 10 finish go up in smoke on the final day as a final round 78 saw him tie Rome in 34th. Sewell rebounded during his final round with an even par 72 to climb 12 spots on the leaderboard and finish in a tie for 52nd. Bott also had his last round of the tournament end up being his strongest as a one over par 73 propelled him up the leaderboards into a tie for 57th at 14 over par for the tournament. Fanfelle endured a rough final round, finishing the day at eight over par to slide back into a tie alongside Bott at 14 over. Rounding out the field for the ‘Runners, Clark finished round three seven over par, causing him to end the tournament in sole possession of 86th at 24 over par. 

UTSA finished last among the ranked teams competing in the tournament, 38 strokes behind eventual tournament champions No.12 Texas A&M, who prevailed over No.1 Oklahoma on the first hole of a playoff after tying in regulation at two over par. For the tournament overall, UTSA performed admirably on the par threes and par fives where they were 18 and seven over par, respectively, for the tournament, but the team struggled on the par fours, where the team turned in a 47 over par. These struggles did not extend to Rome individually, however, as he was excellent all weekend, carding just one over par on the par fours, three strokes back of par fours leader Jordan Less from Northern Illinois. 

This tournament concluded the regular season for the team, and they will be headed to Texarkana, AR, for the conference tournament. The event will run for four days from Monday, April 26, through Thursday, April 29.