Gordon Webb shot an eight-under-par 208, capturing the individual title and leading Idaho to the team championship at the inaugural Price’s Give ‘Em Five Invitational on Saturday at Butterfield Trail Golf Club in El Paso.
Webb carded rounds of 70, 68 and 70 to edge Utah’s Benjamin Bankhead (70-72-70-212) and New Mexico State’s Justin Shin (77-68-67-212), who tied for second place. Host UTEP had a pair of top-10 finishers in Ryan Fioretti (71-72-70-213) and Martin Simonsen (73-69-71-213), who tied for fourth place.
Fioretti was competing as an individual and did not count in UTEP’s team scoring. The Miners landed in fifth place overall (292-294-289-875) behind Idaho (288-283-280-851), UT Arlington (284-289-287-860), Utah (281-295-288-864) and Nebraska (297-286-288-871). NMSU finished in 6th. Justin Shin led the Aggies with a 5-under par, 67, tying him for second overall in the tournament at 4-under par, 212. This was Shin’s best finish of the fall season. He recorded six birdies and one bogey in his final round. A total of 12 teams competed in the tournament, the Miners’ first at home since 1998.
“It was a great event. We had a few minor bumps along the road, but I was pleased with how it went,” UTEP coach Scott Lieberwirth said. “Unfortunately as a team we didn’t compete as strongly as we would’ve hoped, but all in all we’ve made some strides this fall. I’m excited to get back to work in January and do everything we can to have a strong spring season.”
UT Arlington’s Paul McConnell (tied for fourth, 69-70-74-213) also landed in the top-five of the individual standings.
UTEP sent a total of 10 players to the event, with Jere Pelletier tying for 18th place (73-75-70-218), Jerry Castrellon (76-78-67-221) & Luke Ovenden (71-76-74-221) tying for 27th place, Roberto Ruiz tying for 33rd place (79-69-74-222), Ross Rotwein tying for 41st place (72-73-79-224), Ian Patterson tying for 43rd place (74-77-74-225), Jacob Loya tying for 54th place (73-74-81-228) and Devin Miertschin tying for 59th place (76-79-74-229).
The 2012 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, Simonsen hasn’t missed a beat in 2012-13, recording a 71.6 scoring average in four fall tournaments.
“Martin has been a super solid player for us all fall,” Lieberwirth said. “He has been an absolute stud. Unfortunately there was too much inconsistent play from some of the other guys in the lineup to have a chance to compete and win our home tournament.”
The Miners will open their spring season at the Arizona Intercollegiate Jan. 28-29 in Tucson.