PALM DESERT, Calif. -- The UT Arlington men's golf team concluded its spring opener with a top 10 team finish Sunday at the 2018 University of Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate at Classic Club.
Freshman Paul Gonzalez put together his second straight 2-under par 70 to lead the Mavericks to a tie for 10th place in the 23-team field. UTA registered team scores of 292-292-294 to finish with a 14-over par. UTA tied the University of Denver and finished one stroke ahead of 26th ranked Tennessee.
19th ranked Cal ran away with the team title, finishing with scores of 275-274-268 to finish at 47-under par and claim a 20-stroke lead over runner-up 9th ranked Texas Tech. The University of Colorado finish third, while 21st ranked UCLA, 36th ranked Kansas and 39th ranked TCU rounded out the top six.
Four golfers tied for medalist honors at 14-under par: Cal junior Collin Morikawa, ranked 9th nationally, teammate Sebastian Crampton, Texas Tech's Fredrik Nilehn and Oklahoma State's Austin Eckroat (playing as an individual). Eckroat fired the tournament's low round with an impressive 8-under par 64 at 7,322-yard, par 72 Classic Club.
Gonzalez struggled through the front nine with three bogeys to open today's round at 3-over par at the turn. He turned things around quickly with a birdie on No. 11 to move to 2-over. The Waxahachie, Texas native then put together a run of four-straight birdies on nos. 14-17 before finishing with a par to conclude the back nine at 5-under and finished with a 2-under par 70.
He equaled his second-best individual finish of the season with a tie for 22nd among the 135-golfer field with rounds of 74-70-70 to finish at 2-under par for the tournament. Gonzalez finished one stroke ahead of senior teammate Aaron Guanlao (Haslet, Texas), who turned in scores of 69-72-74 for a 1-under 215. Guanlao finished tied for 25th.
Graduate transfer Nick Thornton carded a 1-over 73 for the second straight day to finish in a tie for 61st at 6-over par 222. The Boerne, Texas native posted scores of 76-73-73.
UTA returns to action on March 11-12 at the Cape Fear National Intercollegiate in Leland, N.C. The team will play five regular season spring events prior to the annual Sun Belt Conference Championships, which are scheduled for April 22-24 at Raven Golf Course in Miramar Beach, Fla.
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