North Texas dropped two places from their Day 1 standing today and finished the Schooner Fall Classic, hosted by Oklahoma University, in fourth place behind Baylor, Texas Christian University and Oklahoma. The Mean Green were at 5-over-par after completing the postponed second round this morning, but they finished the day at 26-over-par after the team’s highest single-round score of the tournament at 301.
Head coach Michael Akers said a big reason for the team’s round three struggles was a cold front coming through the area that caused the second round to be postponed Sunday evening due to high winds and impacted play on Monday as well.
“The cold front came through yesterday and they had to actually … call off the last five holes last night,” Akers said. “We played most of the tournament with a south wind and then we played today with a north wind and it really made it difficult.”
It was a historic overall performance for the Mean Green nonetheless as they bested four top-50 ranked teams and set a new program record for the 3-round scoring total at 866 for the tournament. The team’s previous 3-round record of 870 was set last spring at the White Sands Bahamas Invitational.
Senior Lauren Cox led the way for North Texas after carding a 2-under-68 in the third round, her lowest single-round score of the tournament. Cox finished at 1-under-par for the tournament, one of four golfers to go under par, leaving her tied for third place individually.
Akers was particularly impressed by Cox’s third-round performance, particularly her doing so in challenging weather conditions.
“Today, to shoot 2-under in those conditions is outstanding,” Akers said. “It shows why she’s set all the records that she’s set at UNT. I was just really impressed.”
Posting a final round of 76, her highest single-round score, junior Audrey Tan ended the tournament tied for No. 21 at 6-over-par.
After going 1-under-par for the first two rounds, junior Katie Finley carded an 81 in round three and concluded the tourney tied for No. 34 at 12-over-par.
Right on Finley’s heels, sophomore Emilie Ricaud and junior Patricia Sinolungan each finished tied for No. 47 at 13-over-par.
Akers said the tournament’s format was different than he’s used to, with teams being kept separate from each other as a coronavirus precaution, and the new format allowed him to see every golfer’s entire performance.
“The overall tournament was different, I’ve never seen this format before,” Akers said. “We played together in a fivesome, our team played together and then the other team’s played together … due to COVID, to try to keep everyone in their own little bubble. It was very enlightening for me to be able to watch every player hit every shot in a tournament because you just normally don’t do that.”
After placing fourth in a field consisting of ten teams ranked in the top 100 nationally, including seven top-50 teams, Akers was pleased with the team’s overall performance in the tournament and noted the tough competition they faced.
“Overall, you look at a field of that caliber, and going in if you would’ve told me we’d take fourth place, I’d have been satisfied with that,” Akers said. “I feel like we’re a top-30 team, and we came out this first tournament and really showed that we can compete against the upper echelon teams.”
UP NEXT: North Texas travels to Austin, Texas, to play in the Betsy Rawls Invitational hosted by the University of Texas on Oct. 10-11.
Featured Image: Senior Lauren Cox lines up her putt in practice on Sept. 7, 2020. Image by Zachary Thomas