NEW ORLEANS, La. - Wake Forest senior golfer Bill Haas captured his eighth career collegiate title, winning the NOKIA Sugar Bowl/Tulane Invitational for the second straight year. Haas won the event with three straight rounds in the 60s -- shooting 68-67-69 for a 12-under 204.
The Wake Forest men's golf team placed second among the nine-team field, finishing just two strokes back of team champion SMU. The two-day, 54-hole event took place on the par 72, 7,078-yard layout at English Turn Golf and Country Club. The Deacs posted a team score of six-over par 870, while the Mustangs came in at four-over 868. WFU's final round score of six-over 294 was the low round of the day on Tuesday, but it wasn't quite enough to make up for the 10-stroke deficit it faced going into the final round. The Deacs' second place finish, however, is their best team showing of the 2003-04 season thus far.
Haas brought home individual medalist honors handily, winning by seven strokes over Tulane's Michael Thompson, the second-place finisher. With the win he is now tied with Curtis Strange for the second-most individual victories in school history. Gary Hallberg set the WFU record with nine wins from 1977-80. Haas' scorecard at this year's Tulane Invitational also marks the third time in his career that he's played an entire tournament in the 60s. Only eight other golfers in school history have accomplished this feat and Haas is the only one to do it more than once. With his 12th straight round under par, he is one round shy of tying his own school record of 13, set last season.
Deacon sophomore Kyle Reifers continued his strong play, posting a career-best third place finish. He tied with Dan Kleckner of SMU at even-par 216 after rounds of 71-73-72. Reifers has finished among the top 15 in four of the team's last five tournaments.
Freshman Chad Wilcox improved three spots in the standings to finish in a tie for 23rd. He finished at 12-over 228 with rounds of 76-75-77. Fellow rookie Sean Moore finished one stroke back, tying for 26th at 13-over 229 (73-80-76). Sophomore Barr Blanton fell to a tie for 36th with a final-round 83. He finished the tournament at 16-over 232 after carding rounds of 73-76-83.
After playing in consecutive weeks to open the spring season, Wake Forest returns to action a month from now. The Deacs next go to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to compete in the Coastal Carolina Invitational, March 8-9.