The No. 10 Tennessee men’s golf team went wire-to-wire to claim their second tournament of the 2007-08 season Tuesday with an impressive performance at the PING-Arizona Intercollegiate, played at Arizona National Golf Course in Tuscon, Ariz.
The Vols took the lead after the first day and never gave it back. They shot a final round 1-under-par 283 and finished 20-under-par for the tournament, three strokes ahead of second place UNLV. Tennessee finished the tournament with a scorecard of 272-277-283--832.
“I am very proud of our team; this was a very fine win against a very fine field,” coach Jim Kelson said. “We showed a lot of competitiveness and poise today. It was certainly a team effort, everyone contributed, and everyone played well.”
The win marks the first time Tennessee has won back-to-back tournaments under Kelson and the first time since the 2001-02 season they have opened the spring season with a victory.
“I was excited about the scores that we shot,” Kelson said. “We came out and played very well, no question about it and we’re looking forward to this team accomplishing a great deal this season and we certainly feel that we can do that.”
No. 4 UCLA finished third at 5-under-par followed by Arizona in fourth and ETSU in fifth.
Junior Chris Paisley was the top finisher for the Volunteers. The England native finished tied for second with San Diego State’s Aaron Goldberg. Paisley finished the tournament at 8-under-par 205, his best round a 4-under-par 67 in the second. Paisley has now finished in the top 10 in his last three tournaments.
Sophomore David Holmes and freshman Robin Wingardh finished the tournament at 3-under-par 210 and tied for 10th place. Holmes held steady at 1-under-par for most of the second round until he birdied the last two holes to finish the round at 3-under. The third round saw him fire a 3-over-par 74. Wingardh struggled in the second round with a 4-over-par 75 but holed five birdies and returned to form in the third round with a 2-under-par 69.
Senior Philip Pettitt carded a 1-over-par 72 in the final round and ended the day 19th. The Murfreesboro native had a scorecard of 69-73-72--214.
Fellow senior Charlie Ford rounded out the Tennessee lineup. Ford finished tied for 21st after shooting a 2-under-par 69 in the second round followed by a 1-over-par 73 in the third. He finished the tournament with a 54-hole total of 216.
The Vols will travel next to Jacksonville, Fla., for the Johy Hayt Collegiate Invitational Feb. 17-19 at Sawgrass Country Club.