Coming off a lengthy three-week break period, the West Virginia golf team teed off at the George Hannon Invitational in Austin, Texas, on Monday and Tuesday.
In a field of 13 different programs, the Mountaineers ended their tournament tied for ninth place with fellow Big 12 programs Baylor and Kansas State at 25-over-par. The host team, No. 12 Texas, won the tournament with an official score of 17-under-par.
The first day of competition for the Mountaineers resulted in a tie with Kansas State for seventh overall at 14-over-par. Junior Kurtis Grant paced the way for WVU with scores of 69 and 74 on the par-71 course.
"I'm really proud of the guys," head coach Sean Covich said on Monday. "They fought back big time, especially in round one. Everyone got off to a rough start this morning but battled back."
Coming into the final round of play Tuesday, Grant found himself tied for 19th with his scores from the previous day, while sophomore Trent Tipton was tied for 30th and freshman Jackson Davenport was tied for 33rd.
Grant continued his consistent play on the second day, shooting another 74 (three-over-par) en route to a tie for 24th place finish overall. Meanwhile, senior Mark Goetz shot a team-high round of 72 (one-over-par) to vault himself all the way to a tie for 47th-place overall after a disappointing day one. Goetz recorded just three bogeys in his final round, along with two birdies.
Davenport struggled on the back nine during his final day — recording three bogeys and one triple bogey — leaving him with a round of 75 (four-over-par) and an overall tie for 42nd, good enough for a team second-best. Tipton also struggled on the back nine, recording two bogey’s, plus one double and triple bogey in a carded round of 79 (eight-over-par).
It was a difficult tournament for senior Logan Perkins, who shot disappointing rounds of 75-76 on day one, but rebounded on day two with a late eagle to bring his final round score to 74.
The Mountaineers' struggles on the back nine of the University of Texas Golf Club course was ultimately the downfall of the team, who have yet to finish in the top-five at an event this season.
Next up for the Mountaineers is a trip to Charleston, South Carolina, for the Hootie at Bulls Bay tournament on March 28-30 at the Bulls Bay Golf Club.