Golf Collects June's BASF Team Chemistry Award
BATON ROUGE – The LSU men’s golf team earned the program’s fifth national championship and first since 1955 to secure the BASF Team Chemistry MVP Award for the month of June.
The Tigers defeated Vanderbilt (3.5-1.5), Georgia (3.5-1.5) and Southern Cal (4-1) at the NCAA Championships held at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida.
LSU began its run to the title with a fast start against Vanderbilt in the quarterfinals. Brandon Pierce, Ben Taylor and Zach Wright were the first Tigers to tee off. The trio each secured victories as Piece and Taylor led wire-to-wire in their matches.
In the semifinal match against Georgia, it was Taylor who scored the deciding point to vault LSU into the championship round. Taylor used a strong back nine and rolled in a six-foot par putt at the 15th hole to grab a one-stroke advantage. After halving No. 16 and No. 17, Taylor placed a six-iron from 196 yards to within three feet of the pin for a tap-in birdie and the clinching point for the Tigers.
Pierce and Wright gave LSU an early 2-0 advantage against the Trojans in the NCAA Finals. Once again, Taylor provided the match-clincher for the Tigers. He overcame a 1-shot deficit after 16 holes and fired a 4-iron from 258 yards to within five feet of the hole where he would drain his eagle putt to square the match. At the 18th, Taylor knocked down a nine-foot par putt to close out the match and deliver the national championship trophy to LSU for the first time in 60 years.
Pierce, one of three Tigers to pick up PING All-America honors, posted a 71.16 scoring average to set the school’s single-season scoring record previously held by the great David Toms in 1988-89. He garnered an unblemished 2-0-1 mark at the NCAA Championships.
Wright put together a scoring average of 72.03 strokes per round. He captured a perfect 3-0 mark in match play at the NCAA Championships in addition to a team-leading nine top-20 finishes on the season. Pierce and Wright also tied for 11th place in stroke play at the NCAAs.
Eric Ricard equaled Pierce’s effort as a PING All-America selection and came away with an unbeaten 2-0-1 record in match play at the NCAA Championships. He notched a career-low 72.11 scoring average to rank third on the team.
After amassing a 3-0 mark at the NCAA Championships, Taylor recently qualified for a spot in the field at the 144th Open Championship to be held July 16-19 on the Old Course at The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in just two weeks.
As the world’s largest chemical company, BASF’s manufacturing presence in Louisiana includes operations in Geismar, Zachary and Vidalia, with nearly 2,000 employees and contractors in the state. For more information about careers at BASF, visit www.basf.us/la.