Red Raiders, Lopez Win Inverness Intercollegiate
TOLEDO, Ohio – Two tournaments played. Two championships won.
Texas Tech earned the Iverness Intercollegiate team title after recording a final round of 12-under-par on Tuesday and junior Andy Lopez secured a co-championship at 2-under-par at the 54-hole tournament at the Iverness Club. Lopez, who played the tournament as an individual and was coming off a third-place finish at The Carmel Cup, earned the first collegiate win of his career after shooting 73-68-70 – 211 with 12 birdies during the tournament to match Michigan State's James Piot for the title.
"I'm so happy for Andy," Texas Tech head coach Greg Sands said. "He is a coach's dream. He was not making the line-up much last year and he really went to work hard the summer and hasn't stopped the hit streak. His length and his solid putting are so good and consistent that he can play any course well. We made a last minute decision, to play him in the individual spot and he won the tournament. He is a team player and never complained about things and went out and won. These are the things that keep me coaching. I can't say enough about how much I love this kid and I'm so happy for his hard work paying off."
The Red Raiders came into the final round in fourth place and nine strokes back of Tennessee before storming back to win by eight over the Volunteers. Tech finished the two-day tournament with a 296-288-272 – 856 scorecard that had them 4-over for the tournament. The team led the tournament with 47 birdies and had the second-low round in the 15 years of the Iverness Collegiate with its 272 which was only behind Michigan's 270 in 2016. Tech finished atop the leaderboard at 4-over, followed by Tennessee (12-over), Notre Dame (+13) and LSU and Michigan State which were both at 20-over in the 15-team tournament. The Red Raiders have now won 23 tournaments under Sands and Lopez is the 26th player to win an individual title under Sands after Scott won The Carmel Cup.
Kyle Hogan finished third on the individual leaderboard after shooting even-par with a 72-70-71 – 213 in the second tournament of his junior season, while freshman Garrett Martin earned fourth overall at 1-over.
"I'm so proud of Kyle and his performance," Sands said. "He really was steady the 36-hole day and kept us within striking distance. I'm really impressed with the energy we came out with today. We really had some trouble at the top end of lineup on the 36-hole day figuring out the wind and getting the feel of the rough."
Martin was playing in his first collegiate tournament and carded a 74-70-70 – 214 in his three rounds for the top-5 finish. Markus Braadlie finished at 4-over and in 17th with a 74-73-70 – 217, while Scott and Ludvig Aberg both shot final-round 66s on Tuesday but finished outside the top-20 after first-day struggles. Scott finished the second tournament of his senior season in 22nd overall with a 77-75-66 – 218 scorecard and Aberg was 35th at the end of the 54-event with a 76-80-66 – 222. Scott shot his round of 5-under with five birdies and an eagle on the par 5 No. 13 hole, while Aberg made seven birdies and two bogeys in his round of 66.
"Sandy and Ludvig had incredible attitudes despite their struggles on day one and came out today and really got us off to such a hot start," Sands said. "That really stood out to me of how they were able to put that behind them and both shoot 66. Garrett really was steady for us all three rounds. I was able to caddy for him at this course during the US junior in July and his experience showed. He has great patience and ball striking...two things critical here at Inverness."
The Red Raiders now have two fall tournaments remaining on their schedule, first at the Big 12 Match Play in Houston from Oct. 11-13 and then the Tavistock Collegiate on Oct. 20-22 in Orlando, Florida.