April 23, 2013
TEXARKANA, Ark. - Behind Landon Michelson's 18th-place finish, Rice University men's golf claimed 11th place at the 2013 Conference USA Championship at Texarkana Country Club. The Owls carded a 298-300-304--902 (+38) at the 54-hole event, which concluded on Tuesday afternoon.
"The guys fought hard today, but it was a tough round," head coach Justin Emil said after the event. "The wind was blowing hard and there were some tough pin locations, and we couldn't avoid some big numbers. Unfortunately we didn't have enough birdies to cover them up. However, I'm encouraged for next season and can't wait to get back out on the course with the team."
In his first taste of league tournament action, Michelson opened with a season-best 70 and then matched his best three-round total of the season with a 70-75-75--220 (+4). The junior carded 10 birdies to tie for 18th, marking his first top-20 finish of the season.
In his fourth C-USA Championship, senior Brock Wilson posted a strong finish to rank second among the Owls. The Beaumont native carded a 77-73-75--225 (+9) to improve his season stroke average to 76.57. He finished in a tie for 35th place with seven birdies and 32 pars. Beginning the back half of his second round, Wilson played 12-straight holes at par or better.
Freshman James Lee shook off a slow start to finish in 51st place at 80-74-77--231 (+15). He played the last 10 holes of the event at one-under par, including nine pars and a birdie. In all, the Albuquerque, N.M. native notched five birdies at the tournament.
Sophomore Joe Beck III notched a 77-81-77-235 (+19) to tie for 56th. He holed seven birdies at the event
After leading the Owls at the 2012 C-USA Championship, Tommy Economou returned to the event and tied Beck in 56th place. The sophomore carded a 74-78-83--235 (+19) to start the event strong.
Houston pulled away from SMU late in Tuesday's round to claim the team title at 857 (-7), three strokes ahead of the Mustangs. UH's Roman Robledo earned the individual medal with a 72-65-71--208 (-8), two strokes ahead of the second-place finisher.
The Owls nearly caught 10th-place East Carolina, which topped Rice by just two strokes. Rice fended off 12th-place Old Dominion by three strokes.