Feb. 23, 2014
HUMBLE, Texas - Rice University men's golf turned in its best round of the 2013-14 season to move up and finish sixth at the second annual Bayou City Collegiate Championship with a 288-293-280--861 (-3) at the Golf Club of Houston tournament course.
Head coach Justin Emil was pleased with the performance, saying, "I'm really proud of the guys. They fought hard today and posted a strong round, eight under par. They really showed what they're capable of today. It was a good momentum creator going into the rest of the spring season. On a PGA Tour venue at the Golf Club of Houston, our guys showed they can play with some of the best teams in the country. I'm really pleased today with the strong finish. It's something we can build confidence with and move forward."
Kevin Reilly led the squad throughout the final two rounds of play, finishing in ninth place with a 71-71-69--211 (-5). The rookie carded 10 birdies over 54 holes, including four on Sunday. His 39 pars ranked in the top 10 of the strong national field and he posted a cumulative four-under on the event's par fives.
Fellow freshman Alex Levy followed with a 72-73-70--215 (-1), good for 21st overall. His 11 birdies ranked among the tournament leaders, and he also holed four in the final round.
Landon Michelson regained his early form on Sunday to claim 21st place alongside Levy with a 70-75-70--215 (-1). A model of consistency, his 40 pars marked the sixth-most at the event. He added eight birdies as well.
James Lee took quite a leap in the third round to improve to 59th place at 75-76-71--222 (+6). He added 39 pars and five birdies, two of which came on Sunday.
Tommy Economou rounded out the group just behind with a 75-74-74--223 (+7) to finish in a tie for 60th. Three of his seven birdies came in the final round.
Three players competed as individuals for the Owls, led by Trey Johnson, who carded a 78-73-77--228 (+12) to finish 75th. He carded four of his eight birdies in the second round with two each in the first and final rounds.
Joe Beck III tallied an 82-75-78--235 (+19) to finish in 82nd place. He knocked in 31 pars and four birdies.
Making his collegiate debut, Paul Saad wrapped up the event with a 75-80-80--235 (+19) to tie Beck in 82nd. Like Beck, he notched 31 pars and four birdies on the tournament course.
The Owls finished five strokes behind No. 31 Baylor for fifth place and just six back of No. 19 Arkansas for fourth.
Co-host No. 15 Houston held off a late charge from 2013 champion No. 20 Texas to win the tournament at 833 (-31), eight strokes ahead of the Longhorns.
Houston's Roman Robledo claimed the individual medal at 204 (-12), five strokes ahead of teammate Wesley McClain, Texas' Kramer Hickok and Louisiana Tech's Victor Lange.
The Owls now turn their attention to the Argent Financial Intercollegiate on March 3-4 in Choudrant, La.