Mizzou Golfer Jace Long Wins Again, Tigers Finish Fourth
Columbia, Mo. - Jace Long (-7) fired a final-round, 5-under-par 66 to earn a one-shot victory at the University of Michigan Wolverine Intercollegiate on Tuesday afternoon in Ann Arbor, Mich. Long finished the event with back-to-back birdies on holes 17-18 to earn a one-shot win and claim his fifth career tournament title as a Tiger.
The 2011 Michigan Intercollegiate was played at the par 71 U-M Golf Course. The University of California (-13) won the event by 12 shots over Baylor (-1). Michigan State was third (+1), followed by the Tigers (+2) who shot the day's low round of a 6-under-par 278.
Long's round included five birdies and no bogeys. He birdied three consecutive holes (No. 6-8) to close out the front nine and birdied No. 17-18 to win the tournament outright. He entered the "last" one shot behind California's Joel Stalter (-6), but birdied the 455-yard par-4 18th, while Stalter recorded bogey. Stalter came into Tuesday leading by five after tying the U-M Golf Course record with an 8-under-par 63 on Monday's afternoon round.
"He actually almost eagled No. 17," Head Coach Mark Leroux said. "He spun the ball back and nearly made two. On the 18th he hit a great drive, putted from front fringe (after his approach), hopped it up and it found the hole. He had it going today. He just played well. Towards the end of the round, there was no stopping him."
Strong finishes are nothing new for the Dixon, Mo., native. Last year he tied the University of Missouri school record at the 2011 NCAA Southeast Regional with a 10-under-par 62.
"He came to Mizzou to make this program better," Leroux continued. "He came here to help us get better and maybe there is something to (him finishing so well). He sees his team needing him and he wants to do it. Maybe that makes it easier in his mind."
As a team Missouri began the day in sixth place, but quickly charged up the leader board led by the play of Long and sophomore Emilio Cuartero. Not to be lost on Long's incredible performance was the effort of the Spaniard, who finished 3-under-par on Tuesday and 5-under-par for the tournament. The third-place showing for Cuartero was his second career Top Five, bested only by his victory last year at the Washington State Snowman Getaway.
"Emilio has that Tiger Spirit too," Leroux said. "He wants us to be a Top 25 program. He wants us to be good and that motivates him to get better."
Brad Moody finished 29th thanks to an even-par 71 and Nick Wilson was again steady firing a final round 74 to tie for 31st. Hunter Kraus shot a 2-over-par 73 and tied for 35th.