Tech Golf Jumps to No. 7|
March 5, 2009
LUBBOCK, Texas - Texas Tech climbed to No. 7 in the latest Golfweek Division I Men's Golf rankings this week, the highest ever ranking for the program. The Red Raiders will play in their first event as one of the nation's top 10 programs Friday, when they tee off at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in the USF/Ron Smith Intercollegiate in Dade City, Fla.
The Red Raiders achieved their first top 10 ranking in school history last week at No. 9, after winning the UTSA Invitational, Feb. 16-17. This weekend's event is the first for the team since the win in San Antonio. Texas Tech is the second-highest ranked Big 12 Conference program, behind No. 3 Oklahoma State. Texas is ranked No. 14 and Texas A&M is No. 25.
The Red Raiders are led by senior Garrett Merrell, who is ranked No. 19 in the latest rankings. Merrell tied in third place at the UTSA Invitational after finishing with back-to-back rounds of 68-69. He is averaging 71.2 strokes per round on the year and has posted seven rounds below par out of 15 played.
Sophomore Chris Ward, who claimed medalist honors at the UTSA event, is averaging 73.8 strokes per round. Ward shot par or better in each round, including first- and second-round scores of 65-66. Freshman Nils Floren, in just his second collegiate event, finished second to Ward with rounds of 70-66-69, all under par. Floren is averaging 73.6 strokes per round in two collegiate tournaments.
The 24-team event is highlighted by the No. 7 Red Raiders, followed by Baylor (33) and Louisville (40) among the top 50. Other participants include Arkansas State, Austin Peay, Cincinnati, Columbus State, Connecticut, DePaul, Eastern Michigan, Florida Southern, Jacksonville State, Louisiana-Monroe, Marquette, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Missouri State, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Seton Hall, South Alabama, South Florida, Troy and Xavier.
Live scoring will be available throughout the three-day tournament at www.golfstat.com.