March 26, 2008
ALPHARETTA, Ga. –
Senior All-American Jonas Blixt carded a 69 in the final round to help boost the No. 11 ranked Florida State men’s golf team to a fifth place finish at the U.S. Collegiate Championship on the Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia. The Seminoles finished ahead of four teams currently ranked in front of them in the national rankings including No. 2 Georgia, No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Charlotte and No. 9 Stanford.
The Seminoles finished the event with their best round of the 54-hole tournament – a three-under par 285 – as three golfers – Blixt (three-under par 69), Cameron Knight (one-under par 71) and Matt Savage (one-under par 71) all finished with scores under par on the par 72 course. Sophomore Seath Lauer (three-over par 74) and freshman Drew Kittleson (three-over par 74) rounded out the team score as Florida State finished 16 strokes better than its second round score of six strokes better than their first round score. Blixt, Knight and Savage all finished in a tie for 13th place in the individual standings.
“I could not be prouder of the way we came out and competed today,” said Head Coach Trey Jones. “These guys proved they could compete with the best teams in the country in difficult conditions on a hard golf course. I am excited that we are continuing improve as the season goes on.”
No. 5 Southern California won the team championship as they defeated No. 6 ranked Oklahoma State by three strokes. The Trojans were led by defending NCAA Champion Jamie Lovemark who finished in a tie for second place. Trent Leon of Oklahoma State won the individual title as he defeated Lovemark and teammate Rickie Fowler by one stroke. Leon finished with a three-round total of 208.
“To beat the #2, 3, 4 and 9 ranked teams in the country this week shows the progress that our program has achieved,” said Jones. “We’ve proven that we are now among the elite teams in the country. And the best thing about our progrres is that our guys are not content. They know we could have won this tournament. This is a boost to their confidence as we head into the stretch run of our season.”
Blixt (Hammaro, Sweden) was masterful in the final round as he carded his fourth score in the 60’s this spring. He is now averaging below par (71.88) in the Seminoles’ eight matches during the fall 2007 and spring 2008 seasons. Blixt was as many as five strokes under par during the third round with six birdies and 16 holes at par or better. He was three under par during the final 36 holes of the event.
Knight (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) played one of the best events of his collegiate career as he finished with a three-round total of 219. He carded one-under par scores of 71 in the first and third rounds to mark the second time during his career that he earned multiple rounds of under par score in the same event. Knight began the round with birdies on his first two holes and was under par throughout the entire third round.
“Cameron Knight had an outstanding tournament,” said Jones. “He showed tremendous improvement for a guy who missed the entire fall season – he hung tough with the elite of college golf and definitely showed that he belonged.”
Savage (Louisville, Ky.) played his best golf of the tournament in the final round as he carded a one-under par 71 over the final 18 holes of golf. He carded an even par 72 in the opening round of the event. Savage was nearly perfect during the round with 17 holes at par or better (one birdie) and only one bogey. He is Florida State’s second leading golfer with a 72.58 stroke average during the fall of spring seasons.
“This was a great team effort – when Jonas was having a tough round on the first day – the guys stepped up and showed we are not one dimensional” said Jones. “We knew Jonas would bounce back and he did – with a fury. He really made a great run today and showed why he is our leader. We finished with three guys in the top 13 in probably the toughest field we will see outside of the National Championships.”
The Seminoles next competitive outing comes on April 6 as the play the University of Florida in a dual match at the Glen Arven Country Club in Thomasville, Ga. The match begins at 7:30 a.m.
United States Collegiate Championship/Par 72/Final Florida State Results The Golf Club of Georgia/March 24-26, 2008 5/15. Florida State 291 301 285 877 T13. Cameron Knight 71 77 71 219 T13. Matt Savage 72 76 71 219 T13. Jonas Blixt 78 72 69 219 T38. Drew Kittleson 75 76 74 225 T40. Seath Lauer 73 79 74 226
United States Collegiate Championship/Par 72/Final Team Results The Golf Club of Georgia/March 24-26, 2008 1. Southern California 864 9. Georgia 886 2. Oklahoma State 867 10. Charlotte 889 3. Alabama 872 11. Stanford 897 4. Georgia Tech 875 12. E. Tennessee State 899 5. Florida State 877 13. Coastal Carolina 902 6. Texas A&M 881 14. Texas 916 7. UCLA 882 15. Brigham Young 920 8. Georgia State 883