The last time we saw our heroes, our golfing sons waded into the deep water in Mexico last week at the Cabo Collegiate at Querencia where they were up against some of the top programs and players in college golf. The stacked field included consensus No. 1 team Oklahoma State, as well as perennial SEC foes No. 3 Vanderbilt, No. 12 LSU, No. 14 Alabama, No. 19 Texas A&M, and No. 32 Arkansas.
Round one saw the Rebels come out with conviction, carding a team score of -3 to settle in at 4th place after Day 1. The scoring was led by Senior Beau Briggs and Sophomore Cecil Wegener, who both carded rounds of -2 (69). Freshmen Sarut Vongchaisit, in only his second collegiate event, backed those scores up with an even par round of 71 of his own. Senior Josh Seiple rounded out the scoring with a +1 (72).
Day two was a bit of a different story for our lads, as scoring and patience seemed to be in short supply for the team. Beau Briggs was the team leader again, as he backed up his Day one round with a solid even par (71) on Day 2 and a 14th overall placement on the leader board. Freshmen Sarut Vongchaisit again stepped up on the big stage with a second round +1 (72).
However, the back half of the team scoring proved to be what cost the team positioning heading into the final day. Normally steady Cecil Wegener and Josh Seiple both had off days, firing scores of +8 and +5 respectively. After Day 2 the Swinging Landsharks saw their team score fall to +7 and a tie for 7th.
The final day of play had the Rebels fighting to maintain position in the stacked field and Beau Briggs playing for his 3rd Top 10 finish in his Senior campaign. Briggs proved up to the challenge, carding a -1 (70) that included a birdie on his final hole to get him into a T-10 finish. Sarut Vongchaisit’s round had all the makings of another solid performance for the Freshmen. Vongchaisit had a -1 round working until he headed to the 16th hole, then things took a bit of a turn.
A number of unspeakable calamities later, a 10 was entered onto his card on the Par 4. Vongchaisit finished at +6 for the day. Jackson Suber carded his first team score of the tournament on Day 3 with a +1 (72). Josh Seiple rounded out the scoring for the Ole Miss team with a +3 (74). When the dust settled, the Ole Miss team found itself at +16 for the week and a 7th place finish.
Oklahoma State, as they are typically expected to do, ran away with the tournament with a -32 score and an eight shot win over nearest competitor, Arizona State. The team from Stillwater also finished 1-2 individually, with Austin Eckroat edging out collegiate No. 1 golfer and teammate Matthew Wolf by two strokes.
The 7th place finish for the Rebels may seem a bit deflating until you consider the context of the event. This event in Cabo had the very best field in college golf outside of the actual NCAA Championship. The Rebels, coming into the tournament ranked No. 48, finished ahead of Florida State, Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Alabama, all teams that are ranked well ahead of our squad.
A finish like that for such a young and inexperienced is vital for the rest of the Spring season. It should give the guys confidence that they can compete against the best teams in the SEC and the nation going forward.
This week’s tournament: The Lamkin Groups San Diego Classic
When: March 11-12
Where: San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico
Golfweek Rankings: No. 47 as a team; No. 45 Beau Briggs is the highest individual
The Course: San Diego Country Club, Chula Vista, California. Built in 1921, the course has hosted a number of PGA, US Amateur, and Collegiate events. The 7033 yard, Par 72 was designed by William Bell. The course record of 62 was set by Billy Casper.
Cecil Wegener (Soph., Jackson, MS): Faded down the stretch in Cabo after an opening round 69. Finished T-45 at +10 for the week.
Jackson Suber (Freshman, Tampa, Fl): Average week for the otherwise surging Freshmen. Rounds of 75-75-72 placed him T-40 and +9.
Josh Seiple (Senior, Castle Rock, CO): Up and down week in Cabo. Solid opening round of 72. Finished T-40 and +9.
Beau Briggs (Senior, Covington, LA): Great week for the Senior. Rounds of 69-71-70 got him his 3rd Top-10 finish of the season.
Sarut Vongchaisit (Freshmen, Bangkok, Thailand): Very good week for the Freshmen. Rounds in Cabo of 71-72-76. Made an awesome 10 on a hole. All of this got him named SEC Freshmen golfer of the week.
Other potential participants: Jack Gnam
The Field: San Diego, San Diego State, No. 7 Texas, No. 34 North Carolina, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 46 Arizona, Colorado State, Colorado, St. Mary’s, New Mexico
Top individuals who are playing for second: No. 7 Chun-An Yu – ASU, No. 40 Steven Chervony – Texas, No. 10 Cole Hammer – Texas, No. 68 Mason Anderson – ASU, No. 90 Blake Wagoner – ASU, No. 56 Alex Del Ray – ASU, No. 100 Pierceson Coody – Texas, No. 96 Austin Hitt – UNC
Next Tournament: The Hootie at Bulls Bay. Try to stay under par while hearing the faint echoes of 90’s dad rock about the course.