March 21, 2014
PALM CITY, Fla. (SMU) - The SMU Mustangs will head to Palm City, Fla., for the Valspar Invitational at Floridian at the Floridian Golf Club. The two-day event begins Monday (36 holes) and will end Tuesday. SMU is coming off a runner-up result at the National Invitational Tournament in Tuscon, Ariz., with both Bryson Dechambeau and Harry Higgs tying for second overall.
ABOUT THE VALSPAR INVITATIONAL AT FLORIDIAN
Houston and Arkansas will co-host the Valspar Invitational at Floridian at the Floridian Golf Club in Palm City, Fla., with the three-round event beginning Monday and ending Tuesday. 36 holes will be played on Monday with shotgun starts for the first two rounds. The final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday with a split-tee start.
The tournament field features 15 teams, eight of which are ranked in GolfStat's top 25 and the Nike/GolfWorld Top 25 Coaches Poll. No. 2 Oklahoma State is the highest-ranked team in the field, and Houston boasts the reigning national player of the week in Roman Robledo. Other top-ranked individuals include No. 3 Wyndham Clark (Oklahoma State), No. 10 Brian Campbell (Illinois), No. 11 Bryson Dechambeau (SMU), No. 18 Jonathan Garrick (UCLA), No. 19 Sebastian Cappelen (Arkansas), No. 22 Chase Koepka (USF) and No. 24 Ben Crancer (Texas A&M).
LAST TIME OUT - ARIZONA N.I.T.
Led by second-place finished by Harry Higgs and Bryson Dechambeau, the SMU Mustangs tied for second with third-ranked Oklahoma State at the National Invitational Tournament hosted by Arizona. SMU finished the tournament at 18-under par to earn its third top-three result of the season.
Higgs and Dechambeau both finished the event at eight-under, giving Higgs his best three-round collegiate score versus par. Higgs carded a 70 in his final round and was five-under through eight holes, while Dechambeau posted his second score of 68 for the event.
"Harry and Bryson were great this week," SMU head coach Josh Gregory said. "The progress Harry has made this spring truly gives us a great one-two punch at the top of the lineup."
SMU posted the third-lowest team score for the final round, including beating both of the teams it was grouped with on Sunday - No. 2 California and No. 19 New Mexico. All five of SMU's players posted scores of par or better in the final round.
"This was a great week for us," Gregory said. "We really needed this for our confidence. It was also great to play with Cal and actually beat them head-to-head today. To have all five guys shoot even par or better in a final round is very encouraging."
Sophomore Bryson Dechambeau was named to the Ben Hogan Award watch list (given to the most outstanding collegiate golfer) on Feb. 5, and is ranked 11th in the GolfWeek/Sagarin individual rankings, 17th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and 12th in the Palmer Cup ratings. The Clovis, Calif., native has five top-five finishes this season, with the most recent one being a runner-up result at the National Invitational Tournament hosted by Arizona. Dechambeau has carded 13 rounds of par or better this season, including a career-low single-round score of 64 in the final round of the Gifford Collegiate.
HIGGS AS THE LONE SENIOR
Harry Higgs is SMU's lone senior for the 2013-14 season, and he is looking to make it his best season yet. The Overland Park, Kan., native has already posted three top-five finishes and is currently ranked 70th in the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings. Most recently, Higgs recorded a career-best result, tying for second (eight-under par) at the National Invitational Tournament hosted by Arizona.
"Hopefully we can build off the momentum of last week against a very strong field at a great venue. We are starting to play well at the right time of the year. This will be a great test headed into the postseason run."