Men's Golf Wraps Up Fall Season in Hawaii

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
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Men's Golf Wraps Up Fall Season in Hawaii

BATON ROUGE – The No. 10-ranked LSU Men’s Golf team will wrap up a whirlwind fall season with an exciting trip to Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, this weekend for its fifth tournament in two months with an appearance at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic beginning with Friday’s first round at Ka’anapali Golf Club.

The University of Hawaii will play host to 20 teams as part of the three-day, 54-hole championship running through Sunday as Ka’anapali Golf Club will play to a par 71 and 6,700 yards for the weekend.

The Tigers closed out their 2016 fall season with a third-place finish in the event a year ago while posting a final score of 24-under par 828 in 54 holes, including a round of 16-under par in the finale. While the squad was two shots off the top of the team standings after three rounds, LSU’s 2017 NCAA Division I Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Sam Burns was also two shots back on the individual leaderboard at 13-under par for the championship as the team’s top finisher.

The Field

LSU is the leading team in the field in this week’s Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index as the Tigers arrive in Maui with a No. 10 national ranking on their side. They are also tabbed the No. 12-ranked team nationally in the latest Golfstat power ranking released Tuesday on their travel day to the islands.

Other top-25 teams in the field this weekend include No. 12 California and No. 21 Kent State, while No. 39 Wyoming, No. 41 South Carolina and No. 42 Kansas feature in the Top 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Rounding out the field are Air Force, Ball State, Boise State, Bowling Green, Connecticut, Georgia, Gonzaga, Houston, Indiana, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Sacramento State and West Virginia.

Groups will play in foursomes in Friday’s first round with a shotgun start beginning at 1:30 p.m. CT as the Tigers are paired with Pepperdine, Houston and Air Force to open the event.

The Lineup

The Tigers close out their fall season as it began with juniors Luis Gagne and Nathan Jeansonne, sophomore Philip Barbaree and freshmen Jacob Bergeron and Trey Winstead in the lineup competing for the title. Carter Toms is also scheduled to compete as an individual while making his third tournament appearance of the fall.

Few players in college golf have been as impressive as Winstead in recent weeks as he competes at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic with three-straight top-10 finishes to his credit. That includes his tie for ninth place at the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational at Isleworth Golf & Country Club two weeks ago where he fired his lowest tournament score of the season with a 3-under par 213 to lead the team.

Winstead has also tied for 10th at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate and tied for fifth at the David Toms Intercollegiate while posting the team’s third-best scoring average to-date at 72.73 strokes per round this year.

Gagne and Bergeron boast nearly identical resumes to this point of the season as they lead the Tigers with matching 72.09 scoring averages and one win apiece while sharing the title at the David Toms Intercollegiate in early October. Gagne, who ranks No. 70 in Golfweek’s individual rankings, and Bergeron, who follows at No. 71 nationally, also own a pair of top-20 finishes each this fall.

Barbaree ranks second on the team with two Top 10s in his four starts while recording a 72.82 stroke average each time he tees it up. Jeansonne is the team’s top returning finisher from the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic a year ago when he tied for 19th place with a final score of 3-under par 210. He averages 73.36 strokes per round in four starts in 2017.

Winter Break

After wrapping up its fall season at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic this weekend, LSU will break for the winter before opening its spring season with a debut appearance at the Sea Best Invitational being held Feb. 5-6 at legendary TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. A return trip to The Prestige at PGA West follows as the tournament is scheduled for Feb. 19-21 at PGA West in La Quinta, California.