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Texas Tech doesn't slow down, stretches to a 12-shot win in the Prestige college golf event

Cecil Belisle of Kansas accepts the individual winner's trophy for the Prestige at PGA West men's college golf tournament from Brad Rodenbeck, club manager at the Norman Course at PGA West.
Cecil Belisle of Kansas accepts the individual winner's trophy for the Prestige at PGA West men's college golf tournament from Brad Rodenbeck, club manager at the Norman Course at PGA West.

For the last three years, the Texas Tech Red Raiders had the best player in the field of the Prestige at PGA West men’s college golf tournament. This year, the Red Raiders simply had the best team.

Texas Tech started the last day of the 54-hole Prestige tournament with a 10-shot lead over Kansas and stretched that out to an eventual 12-shot victory at the Norman Course at PGA West in La Quinta. The Red Raiders finished the 54-hole tournament with a team score of 33-under 819, including a 9-under 275 on Wednesday.

“A combination of things came together,” said Texas Tech head coach Greg Sands. “We obviously had some guys who are playing some solid golf. We’re really working hard on some mental, cultural things that seem to be clicking with some guys. We feel together. We feel like we have to play for each other.”

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Texas Tech is no stranger to the Prestige tournament, having played the event over the last 15 years. But in the last three years, while the team didn’t win the title, Texas Tech's Ludvig Aberg did win the individual title three times, two times alone and once in a tie. Aberg has already won on the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour and played in the Ryder Cup for Europe last year.

This year’s individual winner was Cecil Belisle of Kansas, the team that finished second behind Texas Tech. Belisle was the overnight leader and maintained the lead throughout the day. While he was pressured by both Petr Hruby of Washington and Karl Vilips of Stanford, Belisle fired a 4-under 67 Wednesday to finish at 13-under 200. Hruby and Vilips both finished at 202, Vilips shooting 66 Wednesday and Hruby shooting 68.

Belisle shot 3-under 32 on the front nine but then stalled with seven consecutive pars. That was enough to maintain a one-shot lead until the par3 17th hole where Belisle chipped in for a birdie and a two-shot lead.

In the team event, Texas Tech and Kansas were followed by tournament co-host Stanford, which had the best round of the day among the leaders, at 10-under 274.

Sands said familiarity with the golf course helped Texas Tech during the week.

“Three of the five guys have seen the place,” Sands said. “The other two adjusted easily. Matthew Comegys finished I think top five (tie for sixth at 7-under), so that was important.”

Comegys managed a 69 on Wednesday, while teammates Tyran Snyders and Calum Scott each shot 68. Price Hill shot 70 in the five-play, four-score format, while Baard Skogen shot 71.

Michael Thorbjornsen of Stanford, the leader in the PGA Tour U standing and ranked fourth in the world amateur rankings, fired a 6-under 30 on the back nine of the Norman Course to start his round and threaten the leaders, but he stumbled on the front nine with two double bogeys in a round of 69 to finish tied for 17th at 4-under 209.

In a separate individual tournament under the Prestige banner played at Terra Lago Golf Resort in Indio, Charles Delong of Texas Tech shot a 1-under 71 on Wednesday for a 7-under 209 54-hole total and a one-shot victory. William Love of Duke and Akshay Anand of Northwestern each finished at 210. Love shot 68 Wednesday while Anand shot 67.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: Texas Tech cruised to an easy win in the Prestige at PGA West golf tournament