K.K. Limbhasut of California and Team LSU Take 1st Place at the 2017 Ka’anapali Classic – Collegiate Invitational - Kaanapali Resort
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K.K. Limbhasut of California and Team LSU Take 1st Place at the 2017 Ka’anapali Classic – Collegiate Invitational

It came down to three pars in the final three holes on the infamous Royal Ka’anapali Course, where many a tournament has been won or lost.  K.K. Limbhasut, a junior at California posted a 66 (-5) to finish 201 (-12) for the 54-hole event at Ka’anapali and earned medal honors at the 2017 Ka’anapali Classic – Collegiate Invitational.  LSU held their lead going into today and finished (-31), seven strokes ahead of South Carolina.

Although California teammate Collin Morikawa started the day in first position, it was K.K. Limbhasut that held steady in the final round and clenched the win.  Limbhasut commented on his round, “I stayed patient today and I knew I had to play smart and make some putts which I did – the key for me was to stay patient.”  He added, “I hit my irons pretty good and I really controlled my ball flight this week, which helped when the trades picked up.  I made an eagle on No. 9 with a 25 foot uphill putt.”

Limbhasut also made a tough up and down for par on 18 to secure the win – he posted the tying low round today 66 (-5), along with South Carolina’s Will Miles who finished 4th for the tournament.  Limbhasut came in first in the Aggie Invitational (2014-15 season) and T1 at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate (2015-16 season). Teammate Collin Morikawa finished the tournament T5 (-8) with Sahith Theegala of Pepperdine, Philip Barbaree of LSU and Jacob Bergeron also of LSU.

Scott Stevens, a junior at South Carolina also posted three pars in the finishing holes, and came in second place with 201 (-11) for the event.  Spencer was tied with Kansas player Andy Spencer going into the round and the two, along with Limbhasut flirted with 1sst, 2nd, 3rd all day.  Spencer unfortunately struggled on the final three holes and lost his lead to post a 70 (-1) to finish in 3rd place.

Stevens talked about his round, “I had a really good up and down on No. 16 with a four foot putt and then on No. 17 I had a really good tee shot to about 12 feet, lipped out my birdie putt but posted a par.”  The final hole which proved tough for many players this weekend has a long lagoon stretching the entire fairway and surrounding half of the green. Stevens was able to two-putt for par on No. 18 and secure second place on his own. Stevens has come in second in several tournaments and so he said, “It hurts a little not to get the win,” he laughed. Adding, “But I am still really happy with the way I finished and overall a really good week at Ka’anapali – the greens were a good speed, you could be pretty aggressive and give yourself opportunities to make some birdies.”

LSU held a two stroke leading heading into the final 18 holes of the tournament and South Carolina and California put pressure on them all day.  LSU’s Philip Barbaree and Jacob Bergeron both posted under par rounds today to finish T5.  Teammate Trey Winstead posted even par today to finish 12th and Luis Gage finished T18.

LSU Coach Charles Winstead commented about his team’s win today, “We had a young group playing this year and knowing we had the lead going in to today is sometimes added pressure. They knew they needed to play well because there was a strong field, strong teams at this event.”  Winstead added, “This was a team win for us, we had contributions from all of our players today and this weekend and I’m really proud of how they all played.”

Hawaii’s Justin Arcano finished T34 at 215 (+2) for the tournament at Ka’anapali, with teammate Cameron Kaneko playing strong and posting an even par round today to finish T36.  Arcano commented, “I had a tough finish today and struggled a bit this weekend to keep it in play on a few holes – it cost me several strokes.” He added, “It was fun to be home though, playing at the courses I grew up on and overall we had a good weekend.”

The fourth annual 54-hole, individual and team stroke-play tournament features golfers from Ball State, Boise, Bowling Green, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Gonzaga, Hawaii-Manoa (host), Houston, Indiana, Kansas, Kent State, Louisiana State, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Sacramento State, South Carolina, U.S. Air Force Academy, West Virginia and Wyoming.