WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - Texas junior Matthew Rosenfeld won his first collegiate golf tournament on Tuesday, earning medalist honors at the Cleveland Collegiate Invitational played at the North Ranch Country Club (6,815 yards, par 71) on Monday and Tuesday. A 2003 All-American, Rosenfeld led the field by one stroke after firing a 5-under 208. Behind him on the leaderboard were two familiar faces as senior Jason Hartwick and sophomore Jeff Bell finished tied for second with Cal's Peter Tomasulo.
Buoyed by three players finishing in the top four golfers, the Texas squad won the event by 15 strokes.
The Longhorns' title was the team's first since winning the 2003 Big 12 Conference title. Additionally, the three UT players at the head of the leaderboard marked a team's players' best showings in Texas head coach John Fields' coaching tenure, both at New Mexico (1988-1997) and at Texas (1998-present).
As a team, Texas finished 15 strokes ahead of runner-up Southern California after carding a 5-under 827 (281-278-288). UT fired the best four-player score in each of the three rounds, including the tournament's best - a 278 - in the second. TCU and Brigham Young finished tied for fourth with 20-over scores of 872. Cal was fifth at 22-over 874.
'It was outstanding to shoot under-par in this tournament, and to win by 15 strokes was extremely positive,' Fields said after the awards presentation. 'We always talk about the strength of our schedule, but beating teams like UCLA, Arizona State and TCU, who are ranked above us, bodes well for the rest of this spring.
'This golf course is demanding because it gives you trouble off the tee and has a lot of deceptive lies. All the teams battled difficult weather during the tournament - it was 46 degrees and rainy yesterday afternoon, and today it was 55 degrees and windy. Really, these were just miserable playing conditions for the course's design. Our win is more impressive when you look at those factors, as well,' Fields concluded.
Rosenfeld was the wire-to-wire leader of the tournament. He shot a 67 in the first round and followed it with a 68 in the second round. He came in with a 73 in the final round, but managed some key putts to secure the victory.
'Yesterday we played 36 holes but we really played two entirely different rounds,' Rosenfeld commented. 'The first 18 holes were in perfect weather - it was cool and sunny. The second 18 holes were entirely different because it was cold and windy. I finished my second round in the dark, but I was able to close out strong. I didn't actually know where I stood on the leader board because so many people weren't able to finish their rounds.
'Today was a struggle, but I was able to manage my round well and I make some clutch putts when I needed them. After the last two weeks where I have been working on a few aspects of my game, this means a lot to me. Hopefully, the rest of the spring will be just as successful, for both me and my teammates,' Rosenfeld concluded.
'I'm excited for Matthew's win because it's been a long time coming. But, Matt will be the first to tell you he won the tournament yesterday and he survived today,' Fields said.
Hartwick, a three-time All-American who has already won twice this season, surged up the leaderboard on Tuesday morning as he concluded his second round. Birdying the last four holes to finish with a 4-under 67, Hartwick jumped from tied for 25th after the first round to tied for second after two. His final-round 71 kept him in contention all day Tuesday. For the tournament, he fired a 4-under 209 (71-69-71).
Bell continued to impress this spring season. After finishing a career-best 11th last week at the Puerto Rico Classic, Bell set a new career mark with his tie for second this week. After a one-over 72 in the first round, Bell carded a 3-under 68 in the second round and a 2-under 69 in the third to lift him into second with a 4-under 209.
Junior Shaun Goodwin finished tied for 43rd at the event. He shot an even-par 71 in the first round, but followed with a 75 in the second and a 78 in the third. He was 11-over with a 224.
Rounding out the Longhorns' lineup was senior Rusty Kennedy who saved his best round of the tournament for the final round shooting a 4-over 75 on Tuesday. He had a 79 in the first round and a 76 in the second. He was 17-over at 230 for three rounds.
Texas returns to action in two weeks when it hosts the 39th-annual Morris Williams Intercollegiate at the Austin Country Club on Monday and Tuesday, March 15 and 16.