LAFAYETTE, La. – Louisiana senior golfer Fernando Cruz Valle recorded his third straight round of par or better to claim his second consecutive third place finish on Tuesday at the 32nd annual Louisiana Classics hosted at the par-72, 7,098-yard Oakbourne Country Club.
“Really proud of Fernando and his performance here in his last Louisiana Classics,” head coach Theo Sliman said. “He was a little emotional after the event, which shows a lot of his heart and that it’s placed not only with this team but with the university. He’s poised to continue to work hard, and I have no doubt that he will find the winner’s circle this spring.”
Cruz Valle carded a 72 (E) in the final round to post a 54-hole score of 6-under par (210). The senior now has seven career top 5 finishes after posting two this spring.
LSU’s Sam Burns overtook Ian Holt of Kent State in the final round to earn individual medalist honors with a three-round score of 10-under (206).
As a team, the Ragin’ Cajuns climbed one spot in the final round to post the squad’s second top 5 finish of the year placing in fifth with an overall score of 20-over (884).
No. 23 Kent State posted the low team score for the second straight round to claim the tournament championship with a three-round score of 21-under (843). The score was the second lowest 54-hole score in tournament history.
No. 22 Texas A&M used a round of 1-under (287) to overtake No. 5 LSU for second place with an overall score of 2-under (862), while the Tigers finished one stroke back of the Aggies in third at 1-under (863). No. 2 Illinois (+9, 873) and Louisiana round out the top 5 teams.
“We played very solidly as a team among some tough competition,” Sliman noted. “Apart from a poor finish in the morning and afternoon rounds yesterday dropping 12 strokes on the last three holes of the day, we were neck and neck with a team that came in No. 2 in the nation in Illinois. That’s definitely something for the boys to grab onto and instill some confidence in them.
“Playing with LSU and Illinois, and then again with Illinois today should show our team that they are capable. We just need to clean up some areas and continue to work hard and continue to believe in ourselves.”
Aron Juliusson and Thomas Strandemo finished inside the top 25 in a tie for 24th at 8-over (224). The top 25 finish is the fourth of the year for Juliusson, while Strandemo now has seven career top 25 performances. Individually, Ryan Desormeaux and Ragnar Gardarsson finished in a tie for 45th at 13-over (229).
“I can’t thank Oakbourne and the members for their support in putting on this event,” Sliman said. “There really was a tremendous amount of support to make this tournament a success. It’s certainly an honor and a privilege to run this event, and to have the support that we so graciously see from the members, the Vermilion Links, all of the volunteers and everyone involved in the event. It was greatly appreciated.”
Louisiana returns to action March 10-11 at the prestigious Border Olympics hosted by Houston at the Laredo Country Club.
For updates and info on Ragin’ Cajuns golf, follow the squad on twitter @RaginCajunsGolf or check RaginCajuns.com.