Buhl Gets First Career Win; Razorbacks Climb to Finish 4th at Gopher Invitational

Gopher Invitational Final Results (HTML)
Gopher Invitational Final Results (PDF) 

University of Arkansas junior William Buhl, the 36-hole leader, shot a 1-under-par 70 Monday and finished with a 54-hole score of 206 (7-under par) to earn his first collegiate win at the Gopher Invitational, played at the par-71, 7,368-yard Windsong Farm Golf Club.

Oklahoma’s Blaine Hale, who was second after 36 holes, shared medalist honors with Buhl. Hale birdied five of his last six holes to shoot 69 Monday and finish with a 206, 54-hole total as well.

The 17th-ranked Razorbacks climbed three spots to finish fourth in the 14-team field. Arkansas posted the third-best best team score on the day, a 4-under-par 280, and finished with a three-round total 859 (288-291-280).

Oklahoma, ranked third nationally, won the team title with a 54-hole score of 847, followed by #10 Texas (850), Iowa (851) and Arkansas (859). The 14-team field featured seven programs that reached the NCAA postseason and six teams ranked among the preseason top 25 including Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, #36 Purdue, #37 Michigan State and #46 San Diego State.

“I am proud of the team effort this week,” said head coach Brad McMakin. “We had to play without Mason Overstreet (due to illness) and do so versus some of the top teams in the country. To finish the way we did was a huge success. We had great individual effort, and this was a really good performance for our program.”

Buhl not only claims his first medalist honor, but the win is his second career top-10 finish after tying for third at last spring’s SEC Championship. It also marks the second consecutive year Arkansas left the Gopher Invitational with a win as the Razorbacks won the team title last fall.

“William getting his first college win was very special,” McMakin added. “He played amazing all three rounds and has really grown as a player over the last six months. “

In addition to Buhl’s effort, Arkansas was led Julian Perico and Tyson Reeder. Perico, who was in second in the clubhouse after his final round was completed, shot a 4-under-par 67 in the final round to post a total of 209 finish in fourth – an improvement of five places after two rounds Sunday. Reeder shot a 70 Monday and jumped eight spots up the leaderboard in the final round to tie for 23rd with a total of 217.

“Julian has been great for us at both events but this week he showed why he’s one of the best incoming freshmen in the country,” McMakin said. “He is proving he can compete at the highest level. Tyson is a very solid player. We count on every day and he had his second top 30 in a row.”

­Buhl was under par in all three rounds (69-67-70) thanks to four birdies in the final round and 15 for the 54-hole tournament, which was the second-most in the field. On Monday, the Fairhope, Ala., native dropped a shot on the second hole, but recorded his four birdies over his next 13 holes, including back-to-back birdies on holes 14 and 15. He would suffer a pair of bogeys before closing with a par to claim his victory.

Perico tied for the second-best round Monday, shooting a 4-under 67, to finish fourth (68-74-67=209). Although he led the field with 28 pars over the first two rounds, Perico was strong in the birdie department Monday, carding seven, to make his move. He finished with 37 pars, the third-best total. The rookie has shot par of better six times in nine rounds with three rounds in the 60’s (67, 68 and 67).

Reeder, who led the field with 39 pars over 54 holes, tied for 23rd with a 54-hole score of 217. He reeled off eight straight pars before recording an eagle on the par-5, 9th hole. Reeder fell back to even par for the round after bogeys on holes 10 and 16 but capped his tournament with a birdie on the final hole to shoot a 1-under 70.

Luis Garza moved up two spots to tie for 65th with a total of 227 (79-75-73). Wil Gibson shaved 11 strokes off his second-round score, shooting a 3-over-par 74 Monday, and improved one place to finish in 74th (82-85-74).

Arkansas will return to action in two weeks at the Bearcat Invitational, played Sept. 24-25 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Tournament Notes:

  • With the win by Buhl, Arkansas has had at least one individual medalist in four consecutive years and seven over the same span.
  • Overall, the Razorbacks had 168 pars – second most in the field.
  • William Buhl and Julian Perico led the field in par 4 scoring with an average of 3.88 strokes, playing them in an aggregate 4-under par. Buhl and Perico each played the par 5’s at 4.67 (3-under) to tie for sixth-best in the field.
  • Tyson Reeder was fourth in the field in par 4 scoring (3.94, 2-under par). Reeder was also fourth in the field in par 5 scoring at 4.56 average (4-under aggregate).
  • Reeder led the field with 39 pars while Buhl was second with 15 birdies.
  • Total rounds of 206 by Arkansas’ Buhl and Oklahoma’s Hale tied for the third best (by stroke) in tournament history and second lowest since moving to Windsong in 2013. Their score to par of -7 tied for the fourth best in tournament history.
  • Arkansas’ final-round total of 280 tied for the 10th best (by stroke) in tournament history and eighth best since the tournament moved to Windsong in 2013.
  • Arkansas’ 54-hole total of 859 tied for the 10th best (by stroke) since the tournament moved to Windsong in 2013
  • The rounds of 67 for Arkansas’ Buhl and Perico (among others) tied for the fifth lowest in any round (by stroke) since the tournament moved to Windsong in 2013.
  • The 36-hole score of 136 for Buhl tied for the lowest (by stroke) since the tournament moved to Windsong in 2013 and tied for the second lowest in tournament history overall. His 6-under through 36 holes tied for sixth best in tournament history after two rounds.
  • The opening-round 68’s for Arkansas’ Perico, Oklahoma’s Hale and Purdue’s Timmy Hildenbrand tied for the fifth lowest opening round (by stroke) since the tournament moved to Windsong Farm in 2013.

Razorback Scores at Gopher Invitational (FINAL)

T1.William Buhl69-67-70=206 (-7)
4.Julian Perico68-74-67=209 (-4)
T23.Tyson Reeder72-75-70=217 (+4)
T65.Luis Garza79-75-73=227 (+14)
74.Wil Gibson82-85-74=241 (+28)

Gopher Invitational Team Scores (FINAL)

1.#3 Oklahoma284-285-278=847 (-5)
2.#10 Texas291-278-281=850 (-2)
3.Iowa288-286-277=851 (-1)
4.#17 Arkansas288-291-280=859 (+7)
5.Minnesota290-291-283=864 (+12)
#36 Purdue282-294-288=864 (+12)
7.NC State292-287-286=865 (+13)
8.#37 Michigan State288-288-292=868 (+16)
9.New Mexico State296-286-291=873 (+21)
10.Utah293-295-286=874 (+22)
11.#46 San Diego State292-286-297=875 (+23)
12.Washington300-285-292=877 (+25)
13.Coastal Carolina296-299-285=880 (+28)
14.Charlotte307-298-280=885 (+33)