GCAA Bestows All-America Honors Upon Three Tigers
BATON ROUGE – Sophomore Brandon Pierce picked up his second All-America honor of the 2014-15 season on Thursday morning, while junior Zach Wright and sophomore Eric Ricard were each awarded their first All-America honor after being selected as PING Honorable Mention All-Americans by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Pierce was recently named an All-American for the first time in his collegiate career with a third-team selection by Golfweek while finishing the season as the No. 28-ranked player nationally this spring.
Pierce, Ricard and Wright were each named Second-Team All-SEC performers by the league’s head coaches before also receiving selections to the PING All-Southeast Region Team by the GCAA last month. They were instrumental in the Tigers winning SEC and NCAA championships to cap a historic 2014-15 season as the leading men’s golf program in the country.
Pierce ended his sophomore season ranked among the Top 25 players nationwide as the No. 23-ranked player in the final Golfstat rankings. An All-SEC performer for the first time in his collegiate career, Pierce claimed a start in all eight tournaments for the Tigers during the 2015 spring season, posting a team-leading 71.16 scoring average to set the school’s single-season scoring record.
He broke the previous single-season low scoring average of 71.27 previous set by the great David Toms in 48 rounds played during his senior season in 1988-89. Among Pierce’s eight tournament starts were his total of three top-10 and seven top-20 finishes, including a tie for ninth place at the SEC Championships and a tie for 11th place at the NCAA Championships.
Pierce was unbeaten at 2-0-1 in his three matches to help spearhead the Tigers’ charge toward the national championship including a 2 and 1 win over USC’s Rico Hoey in the NCAA Championship Match.
Wright joined Pierce in cracking the Top 50 of the final national player rankings by Golfstat as the No. 44-ranked collegiate player for the 2014-15 season. Wright’s season was certainly highlighted by an unbeaten run in match play at the NCAA Championships where he posted a perfect 3-0 mark in leading the Tigers to the national championship.
Wright enjoyed a breakout junior season in which he posted a career-low scoring average of 72.03 strokes per round for his 11 tournament starts to rank second on the team. He also captured three top-10 and a team-leading nine top-20 finishes on the campaign, including tying for sixth place at the SEC Championships and matching Pierce as the top Tiger at the NCAA Championships by tying for 11th place in stroke play.
Ricard matched Pierce’s effort with an unbeaten 2-0-1 record in match play at the NCAA Championships as one of four Tigers to remain unbeaten through the match play tournament for the national championship. He secured a Second-Team All-SEC and PING All-Southeast Region honor for the first time in his career while posting a career-low 72.11 scoring average to rank third on the team.
Ricard, who ended the 2014-15 season as the No. 61-ranked player nationally by Golfweek and the No. 62-ranked player nationally by Golfstat, was the only Tiger to start all 12 tournaments on their SEC and NCAA title campaign. He earned a team-leading four top-10 finishes along with five top-20 finishes in his 12 starts, including a tie for 27th place individually in stroke play at the NCAA Championships.