The last time we saw our heroes, the squad embarked on its first tournament without their FEARLESS LORD AND LEADER down in Houston for the maiden tournament of the Spring at the All American Intercollegiate at the Golf Club of Houston.
One might assume that the team might be a little rudderless in its first event without Braden Thornberry but BEHOLD AN HEIR TO THE THRONE HAS EMERGED! Sophomore Cecil “Lil Precious” Wegener has been on the cusp of some big things ever since he finished 2nd in the SEC Championships last Spring, and he chose this past weekend in Houston to be his breakout event.
On day one, Wegener fired a -2 (70) to sit in the top 5 headed into Day 2. It was on that day two that Wegener made his move, firing a tournament low round of 68 (-4) to sit atop the leaderboard alone with a two-shot lead. The third and final round was scheduled to begin Tuesday morning, but the weather had different plans, as the entire round was washed out and the results after round two were made the official finish.
Some may say Wegener was fortunate to get the weather cancellation, but those people would be wrong and also not good Rebels. It’s more likely that God didn’t want Cecil to embarrass the entire field that final day all while sporting a substantial mustache/mullet combo.
Wegener’s win is the first of his short Rebel career and marks the first time someone not named Braden Thornberry has taken home an individual medalist crown for Ole Miss in almost two years.
With a rain-shortened event, it was imperative the team get off to a strong start. Unfortunately, as has been the case in some of the Reb’s early rounds, the team got a sluggish start out of the gates. Outside of Wegener, Jackson Suber paced the team on day one with a +1 (73). Senior Josh Seiple and Freshmen Sarut Vongchaisit each registered +3 (75) rounds, and Senior Beau Briggs ended day one at +4 (76). With much ground to make up, the Rebels came out with a stronger showing on day two.
On top of Wegener’s blistering 68, Suber backed up his solid day one with an Even - par 72. Beau Briggs improved on his day one as well, carding a +2 (74). Vongchaisit and Seiple finished day two with +4 (76) and +5 (77), respectively. The day two improvement moved the team up the leaderboard to 6th, one stroke behind South Carolina and Charlotte for a 4th place tie. Another day would have likely seen the team move even further up the leaderboard, but that’s the unpredictable hellscape of humidity and traffic jams that is Houston from time to time.
With the shortened format, Jackson Suber finished at T-12 with a +1 overall score. Beau Briggs came in at T-43 with a +6 total. Freshmen Vongchaist placed T-50 in his first collegiate tournament as part of the team competition at +7, and Josh Seiple fell right behind at T-54 and +8. Freshmen Jack Gnam competed as an individual, carding a pair of +6 (78) rounds and a 74th place finish.
This Week’s Tournament: The USF/Ole Miss Challenge – Belleair Country Club*
When: February 25th
Where: Clearwater Beach, Fla.
Golfweek Rankings: 47th
The Course: Belleair Country Club — A par 71, 6,541-yard Donald Ross design right outside of Tampa that backs up to the bay. Belleair is billed as “Florida’s First Golf Course” as it was originally established in 1897.
Cecil Wegener (Soph., Jackson, Miss.): First tournament win as an Ole Miss Rebel. Shot -6 for the rain shortened event to win by 2. Possess a quality mustache/hair combo.
Jackson Suber (Freshman, Tampa, Fla.): Another solid outing for the Freshmen. Shot +1 for the weekend in Houston for a Top-15 finish.
Josh Seiple (Senior, Castle Rock, Co.): Not the Senior’s best effort in Houston. Two rounds of 75 and 77 pushed him to a T-54 placement at the All-American.
Beau Briggs (Senior, Covington, La.): Tough couple of rounds for the other Senior on the squad as well. Fired a +6 for the weekend and placed T-43.
Sarut Vongchaisit (Freshmen, Bangkok, Thailand): Made his first team start of his college career in Houston. Consistent rounds in the mid-70s placed the Freshmen at T-50.
*event is Match Play this week so several other Ole Miss golfers should be in competition.
The Field: It’s a good ol’ fashioned grudge match play in Tampa! USF is ranked No. 25.
Top individuals who are playing for second: No. 42 Albin Bergstrom, No. 101 Kyle Flexsenhar (really an amazing last name), No. 158 Ryoto Furuya
If you want to follow the action: No Golfstat this week so Ole Miss Men’s Golf Twitter is the place to be.
Next Tournament: The Querencia Cabo Collegiate – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (Mar. 3-5). A real unfortunate destination on the schedule. Its probably hot, and there’s sand everywhere. I’d skip it if I were them.