Phoenix, Ariz. – Freshman Louis Theys vaulted seven spots over the final 18 holes on Saturday to record a career-best finish, pacing Western Carolina in a fourth-place tie as play concluded at the Grand Canyon University Invitational at the par-71 GCU Championship Golf Course. WCU slipped into a tie for 17th as a team with a three-round tally of 893.
Tied for 11th after 36 holes on Friday, Theys shot a 2-under par round of 69 on the par-71 course Saturday to climb into the three-way tie for fourth. His career-best, 54-hole score of 207 is also tied for the 10th-best by a Catamount men’s golfer all-time. The Villers-Perwin, Belgium, native shot a career-low round of 68 on the second 18 at the tournament on Friday.
Theys opened his final round in a big way, carding an eagle on the par-4 14th to start the round at 2-under par. After two pars, a bogey, and the first of four birdies charted on Saturday, the freshman made his turn to the front nine at 2-under where he stayed until a birdie on the par-4 sixth left him at 3-under with seven holes to play. Theys came home by countering three bogeys with consecutive birdies on the 10th and 11th for the 2-under round of 69.
Theys finished tied for fifth in par-3 scoring at 1-under (2.92) and was tied for 10th in par-4 scoring at 2-under (3.94).
Sophomore Zach Caudill posted a career-low round of 68 in Friday’s opening round, finishing with a three-round score of224 to slip 34 spots in the final standings. His score of 224 was the third-best, 54-hole score of his WCU career. Freshman Tumi Kúld carded his second-best, three-round score of 226 but dropped 27 positions in the final standings to come home in a tie for 95th overall.
Rounding out WCU’s scoring five were senior George Whitbread (236) and sophomore Michael Coe (242) in 110th and 111th, respectively. Playing unattached as an individual, sophomore Chandler Metz finished with a three-round score of 235, tied for 107th.
Caudill led WCU with 11 birdies, one more than Theys who had 10 while leading the Catamounts with 37 pars over the 54-hole tournament. Theys and Coe both carded an Eagle, among just 15 turned in at the event.
Led by individual co-medalist McCain Schellhardt with a three-round score of 205, Missouri - Kansas City (UMKC) cruised to the team championship by 14 strokes over runner-up Texas - Rio Grande Valley, 829-to-843. UTEP and Missouri were tied for third at 844, 15 strokes off the pace while Pacific and Northern Colorado finished tied for fifth at even-par, 852.
Western Carolina returns to action April 1-2 closer to home as the Catamounts head to the Wofford Intercollegiate, hosted by the Terriers at the Country Club of Spartanburg. The 54-hole tournament includes 36 holes on Monday, April 1 and the third round of 18 on Tuesday, April 2.
T17 – Western Carolina – 292-293-308 = 893
T4 – Louis Theys – 70-68-69 = 207
T84 – Zach Caudill – 68-77-79 = 224
T95 – Tumi Kúld – 73-74-79 = 226
110 – George Whitbread – 81-74-71 = 236
111 – Michael Coe – 83-78-81 = 242
T107 – Chandler Metz (ind.) – 77-79-79 = 235