AUGUSTA, Ga. -- In the second team playoff in tournament history, Texas defeated Augusta State late Sunday afternoon to capture the 2012 Insperity Augusta State Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club.
The victory was the sixth of the season for the top-ranked Longhorns, who got birdies from their top two players – Jordan Spieth and Dylan Fritelli -- on the second playoff hole. Texas, which was coming off its victory at the Morris Williams, won four consecutive events earlier in the season.
The Jaguars – No. 48 in the most recent Golfstat ratings -- matched Texas for the low round of the day with a 9-under 279 that included a career-low, 6-under 66 from senior Brendan Gillins. Fellow senior Taylor Floyd and Gillins paced ASU with a tie for third, while freshman Robin Petersson carded a 3-under 69 and tied for 26th. Floyd tallied a 1-under 71, junior Derek Chang (t61st) had a 73 and sophomore Alex Wennstam (t41st) signed for a 77.
Illinois took third, eight shots off the pace, while Baylor and TCU tied for fourth. The Bears enjoyed the low round of the day, an 11-under 277.
TCU's Julien Brun, the overnight leader, booked a 3-under 69 and claimed a one stroke victory over Texas' Fritelli. ASU's Floyd and Spieth shared third and Spieth was solo fifth.
Brun grabbed the individual lead when he followed up his opening-round 68 with a 7-under 65 in the afternoon. At 11-under 133, Brun matched the lowest 36-hole total in the 34-year history of the tournament, last equaled by Oklahoma State's Kevin Tway in 2011.
The two-day, 54-hole event -- presented by Mercedes-Benz of Augusta, Spark Energy and 3M – featured nine teams in the top 50, according to Golfstat: No. 1 Texas, No. 13 Clemson, No. 22 Oklahoma State, No. 27 Baylor, No. 35 TCU, No. 38 Illinois, No. 40 SMU, No. 46 ASU and No. 50 Lamar. Nine of the top 50 and 13 of the top 100 individuals in the nation were in the field this weekend. Both the SMU and Tennessee squads were led by former Jaguar head coaches in Josh Gregory and Jim Kelson, respectively.
Formerly known as Administaff, Insperity unveiled a new name and brand identity package a year ago. Insperity began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under its new ticker symbol, NSP, on March 9, 2011. Founded in April, 1986, Insperity provides a wide range of business performance solutions that enable business owners to be more systematic and strategic about the role that people play in the success of a company.
With 1,900 corporate employees, Insperity operates 58 locations in the United States and reported $1.7 billion in revenues in 2010.
Notes … On the first playoff hole, Spieth and Fritelli left themselves with tap-in birdies, while Alex Wennstam left himself a tap-in after chipping to three inches … Gillins had a chip from the right fringe that he left two feet past, but the comeback putt was good to force a second playoff hole … Hakula, Moon, Vegas all knocked in pars after missing birdie putts each … Chang (ASU) hit a high flop from the right rough that didn't stop, pushing to the fringe; the comeback putt missed, leaving him with a tap-in for par … Robin Petersson laid up short, hit his third on the right fringe, and his chip kept running to the fringe and he two-putted for a bogey.
After first group: UT E (3 players), ASU +1 (2 players) … Spieth and Floyd (ASU) both blasted their second to the left side of the green and had about 25-footers for eagle … Fritelli bombed his into the right rough, Wennstam hit his second to the front right part of the green onto the fringe, and Brendan Gillins' second was short of the green Gillins: Third shot bounced and rolled to the back fringe, leaving him an 18-footer for birdie … Wennstam chipped, but the spin didn't catch and it rolled to the back part of the fringe … Fritelli flopped his ball three feet from the hole … Taylor's eagle putt stopped a foot short for a tap-in birdie, and Spieth did the same … Score: UT -1 (4 players), ASU E (3 players) … Wennstam's birdie putt missed left, Gillins' birdie attempt slid just right of the hole, setting up Fritelli's three-footer for the win … He knocked it home, center cut, for the victory.
Quotes … TCU's Julien Brun, individual medalist with a 68-65-69 - 202 (14-under) one-shot victory: "I put [my second from the front-right bunker on 18] eight feet away and it was about the shot I was going for. I was so relieved when I saw it catch and stop, because you never know if it'll hold or just keep rolling along."
"This will give me and our team plenty of momentum for our conference tournament and the NCAA Regionals."
Texas head coach John Fields: "We dealt with some pressure-filled situations, and our intensity and high-level desire to win mean we need to work on handling these type of scenarios better."
"We left some shots on the course yesterday, but I thought we played very well today as a whole. We have plenty of depth, and I tell the guys we certainly have a chance to win any tournament we compete in."
"This field was similar to [an NCAA Regional] and Augusta State will take a lot of positives from this."
Note: Fields said this was their first time competing in this type of playoff format. He's been in an NCAA Regional playoff before, with five players on five holes, one on each hole. "This format was fun for us" he said.
Augusta State head coach Kevin McPherson: "We knew where we stood coming into the tournament," McPherson said. "The guys aren't dumb. They knew where they stood. They stepped up when they need to."
"All the guys, I'm very proud of them," McPherson said. "It's a small victory that we lost in a playoff by inches. To play against the No. 1 team in the country as talented as they, it says a lot about this team."