Red Raiders Tie for Fifth at Morris Williams
April 8, 2008
LUBBOCK, Texas - If there is a silver lining in Texas Tech's tie for fifth at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in Austin on Tuesday, it could be the team's one-stroke finish ahead of top-ranked Alabama. The Red Raiders, ranked No. 29 entering the tournament, tied with No. 17 Central Florida and claimed their first win of the season in head-to-head competition against a nationally-ranked top five team.
Texas Tech entered the tournament with three wins this season against top 10 opponents, but none against the nation's highest-ranked program. The last time a Red Raider squad knocked off a top-five program was at the Aggie Invitational in 2006, when Tech bested Oklahoma State on the final team leaderboard.
The Red Raiders were consistent throughout this week's tournament, carding rounds of 293-296-296 for a 33-over 885. Chris Ward, competing against his former teammates from Oklahoma State for the first time since transferring to Texas Tech in January, led the Red Raiders with a top 20 finish, tying 17th with a 7-over 220. Ward's even-par 71in the final round propelled him from a 28th-place tie in the second round.
Freshman Sergio Franky tied in 23rd place with a nine-over 222 and posted rounds of 72-74-76, while fellow Colombian and junior Santiago Rivas finished a stroke back in 28th place. Rivas also carded a final-round 76 after turning in a 75 and 72 in the first two rounds. Sophomore Will Griffin vaulted 15 spots in the final round with a 2-over 73 and finished in a 34th-place tie with junior Garrett Merrell. Griffin fired rounds of 76-77-73 for a 226, while Merrell carded 72-75-79.
Tournament host and No. 49 Texas (868) won the event by six strokes over No. 5 Oklahoma State (874), while No. 20 UNLV (876) and No. 14 Auburn (883) followed in third and fourth places, respectively. Tech (885) and UCF (885) tied in fifth and top-ranked Alabama (886) finished a stroke back in seventh. No. 19 Louisville (887), BYU (889) and No. 37 Pepperdine (898) wrapped up the top ten. No. 47 TCU (904), Fresno State (910), Tulsa (915), San Diego (917) and New Mexico (920) rounded out the field of 15.
The Morris Williams marked the final tournament of the regular season for Texas Tech as the Red Raiders play host at the Big 12 Championships at Whispering Pines Golf Club in Trinity, Texas, April 25-27, in their next outing.
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