LSU's Wright captures first place at Louisiana Classics tournament
LAFAYETTE, La. -- Freshman Zach Wright became the third LSU Tiger in four seasons to capture the individual championship at the Louisiana Classics tournament. He wrapped up a wire-to-wire victory with a round of 1-under par 71 in Tuesday’s action en route to a three-shot win in the 28th-annual event held at Oakbourne Country Club.
After opening with a career-low 6-under par 66 in the first round and an even-par 72 in the second round on Monday, Wright fired a 1-under par 71 in Tuesday’s final round for a career-low 54-hole score of 7-under par 209 to take home a three-shot victory against Houston’s Curtis Reed while playing as an individual during the event.
The 12th-ranked Tigers were impressive during Tuesday’s action as they posted the lowest team score of the tournament at 6-under par 282 to climb four spots into second place in the final team chase to finish eight shots of the pace with a runner-up score of 10-over par 874 for 54 holes. Setting the pace for LSU in the final round were Presley with a 5-under par 67, sophomore Stewart Jolly with a 2-under par 70 and sophomore Curtis Thompson with a 1-under par 71 on the afternoon.
Following the Illini and the Tigers in the final team standings were Houston in third place at 12-over par 876 and 23rd-ranked Tulsa and Kent State in a tie for fourth place at 13-over par 877.
“[Tuesday] was a solid day for the team. It was a really good response after our slow start yesterday,” LSU head coach Chuck Winstead said. “We just dug too deep a hole [Monday] to put any real pressure on Illinois. They’re a good team and played very well throughout the event. They certainly deserved to win it.
“We’re all very happy for Zach. He was impressive with his play this week. His game has been coming around over the last week or two. It was great to see him get the win.”
Wright not only earned his first career top-10 finish in a collegiate event, but captured his first career individual crown at LSU with a strong week at Oakbourne Country Club. He is the seventh different LSU Tiger to win an individual tournament title in the Winstead era.
After teeing off on hole No. 17 with Tuesday’s shotgun start, Wright carded four consecutive birdies on the par-four first, par-four second, par-five third and par-three fourth holes to quickly drop to 4-under par on his round. He then followed three consecutive bogeys on holes Nos. 5-7 with a pair of birdies at the par-three ninth and par-five 11th holes to drop back to 3-under par. Wright then ended the day with bogeys at the par-four 12th and 16th holes to lock up the his first collegiate title with a 1-under 71.
Wright’s 7-under 209 is not only a career-low score for a 54-hole event, but it is also the lowest tournament score by an LSU Tiger this season.
Jolly earned his fourth top-10 finish in seven tournament starts this season as he led LSU’s starting five with a 54-hole score of even-par 216 to tie for seventh place on the final leaderboard.
Despite coming up short in defending his Louisiana Classics title from a year ago, Presley fired his lowest round of the season on Tuesday with a 5-under par 67 to finish on the cusp of the Top 10 with a tie for 11th place overall at 1-over 217 for the championship. Presley’s carded six birdies and just one bogey on his round to rebound from his scores of 4-over 76 and 2-over 74 on Monday.
Presley now leads the team with six top-20 finishes in his seven starts for the Tigers as he pushes for All-SEC and All-America honors again during his junior campaign.
Thompson scored a top-20 finish of his own after firing a 1-under par 71 in the final round to tie for 17th place overall at 3-over par 219. Sophomore Myles Lewis and junior Landon Lyons each added scores of 2-over par 74 toward LSU’s team total as Lewis tied for 41st place at 10-over par 226 and Lyons tied for 48th place at 12-over par 228 for the championship.
Junior Smylie Kaufman carded a 1-over 73 in Tuesday's final round as he tied Lewis for 41st place at 10-over 226 while playing as an individual during the event.