After an up-and-down first day at the Louisiana Classics which featured rounds of 293 and 284, the men’s golf team scored a 1-under-par 287 on Tuesday to finish the tournament tied for third.
With the finish, North Texas ended the day three strokes behind second-place University of Louisiana-Lafayette, the tournament host and 41 strokes behind the top finisher in No. 5 ranked University of Illinois. No, Illinois’ 41-stroke lead over the Mean Green is not a typo.
After a first-round 293 which had the Mean Green sitting in eighth place, head coach Brad Stracke said the team settled in and improved by simply getting more playing experience.
“Tournament experience and just getting the nerves and getting used to playing competitive rounds,” Stracke said. “The guys are going to get more comfortable each round and continue to play better and better. In the first round we could’ve played better, but we came back strong the second round and we had it going today too. The finishing holes were into the wind and they are kind of difficult. Probably could have made a few more putts but, overall, I think it was a good tournament.”
With a No. 8 placement individually, junior Lenny Bergsson tallied his first career top-10 finish and highest collegiate finish ever. After a 3-over-75 in round one, Bergsson went 5-under in the next two rounds with scores of 68 and 71 to end the tourney at -2.
Right on Bergsson’s heels, freshman Vicente Marzilio carded a 1-under-71 in the final round to finish tied for No. 9 at -1. This was also Marzilio’s first top-10 finish and best career placement as he competed in his third collegiate tournament. He tied for No. 17 and No. 20 in his first two events, respectively.
“This was Lenny’s first top-10 finish in college, so [I’m] really happy for him,” Stracke said. “Vicente had another solid finish, I believe he’s going to be top-10 as well. Those two did great this week and hopefully, they continue to get better and better each tournament we play.”
Next up were freshman Nikhil Gopal and senior Sean Wilcox. Competing in his second college tourney, Gopal carded a final round 73 to tie for No. 28 at +3. Wilcox ended the tournament at +5 with an even-par 72 in the final round, leaving him tied for No. 33.
“Nikhil’s a really solid ball-striker, might be the best ball-striker on the team,” Stracke said. “He’s just getting acclimated to being in the United States and playing golf here at different courses. He’s going to continue to grow and become an excellent player for us.”
Rounding out the team’s competitors, senior Viktor Forslund carded a 2-over-74 on the day to finish tied for No. 45 at +7.
“We just got to work on controlling the things we can control,” Stracke said. “Work on our mental game, work on our short game. Wedges [are] going to be the main emphasis the next two weeks before we play at the Bayou.”
Up Next: Men’s golf will have a nearly three-week layoff before playing two tournaments in quick succession heading into the Conference USA tourney. They’ll get back in action on April 5-6 at the Bayou City Collegiate Classic in Pearland, Texas, before playing in the Aggie Invitational on April 9-11.
It was a tale of two rounds on Monday for the men’s golf team as they competed in Day 1 of the Louisiana Classics.
A first-round 293 left the Mean Green tied for eighth at +5, but a 4-under-284 in round two saw North Texas rise to fourth by the end of the day.
“Overall, we are doing better controlling what we can control,” Stracke said. “[I] was impressed by how the guys came back in the second round.”
The team’s top two finishers on Day were junior Lenny Bergsson and freshman Vicente Marzilio. Bergsson rebounded from a round one 75 to post a 4-under-68 his second time through to end the day tied for No. 12 individually at -1. Marzilio carded rounds of 70 and 74 to tie for No. 18 at even-par.
Next up was freshman Nikhil Gopal who shot rounds of 75 and 71 to finish the day at +2 and tied for No. 28.
Rounding out the team competitors, seniors Sean Wilcox and Viktor Forslund both ended the first two rounds tied for No. 50 at +5.
Featured Image: Junior Robert Garcia tees off during a practice round on Feb. 5, 2021. Image by Zach Del Bello