OLYMPIA FIELDS, IL (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) – Behind a second-place finish by both Sebastian Cappelen and Austin Cook, the No. 15 University of Arkansas men's golf team cruised to a 13-stroke victory at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational on Tuesday, the Razorbacks' first team title of the season.
Entering the day with a comfortable lead, the Razorbacks did what they had to and increased their overall advantage despite shooting 13-over par as a team on the final day. Arkansas was 14-over par for the tournament, well ahead of No. 4 Florida (+27), Florida State (+29), Duke (+33) and Stanford (+33) who made up the top five. The field, which was comprised of seven top 25 programs also included No. 13 Northwestern (+35), No. 2 SMU (+39), No. 25 Indiana (+47), No. 19 Clemson (+47) and No. 18 Illinois (+47).
Arkansas' team title is its 12th over the last two-plus seasons, which sets a school record for titles over a three-year period. Prior to the Razorbacks' run over the last three years, Arkansas had won a combined 34 tournaments. In Head Coach Brad McMakin's six-plus years in Fayetteville he has guided Arkansas to 17 tournament titles and is seven behind former Razorback Head Coach Bill Woodley whose teams won 24 tournaments in his 14 seasons as the head coach.
"I really liked the way that we attacked this course the first couple days and were able to build a lead," McMakin said. "This course is a challenge and I feel like the guys managed the difficult areas well and took advantage when they could. We had several excellent performances, but I can't say enough about the job Joe (Doramus) did, he really stepped up and was a major contributor to this team title."
Cook was the low score for the Razorbacks on Tuesday as he fired a tournament low 67 on the final round to move up from a tie for 18th into a tie for second individually. Cook navigated the front nine of Olympia Fields South Course at even par with a birdie and bogey. The senior then went on a tear on the back nine as he sank four birdie putts and had just a single bogey to play the back side at three-under par and complete the round at 67. The finish for Cook is his best of the season and the best since he finished second at the Cabo Collegiate last fall.
Cappelen also finished tied for second on Tuesday after he shot five-over par, 75. The junior played much better on the back nine than he did in the front, as he hit five pars and four bogeys over the first nine holes and two birdies and three bogeys on the back side. The individual leader entering the final day, Cappelen was passed by Stanford's Patrick Rodgers for medalist honors.
Getting praise from his head coach, Doramus played in his first tournament of the fall season this week and responded by tying for 12th overall with a three-round score of six-over par, 216. Shooting five-over par on Tuesday, the Little Rock, Ark., native continued to keep his mistakes to a minimum as he sank one birdie and six bogeys over the final 18 holes. Doramus contributed to Arkansas' team score each day and carded just a single hole worse than bogey over the 54-hole tournament.
Freshman Taylor Moore also tied for 12th individually and shot a six-over par, 76 on Tuesday for a three-day total of 216, six-over par. A bad hole on the par three, 14th, saw Moore get credit for double bogey, but otherwise the first-year player managed the course well and had one birdie and five bogeys to his credit. Moore's finish is his second top 15 in three tournaments this year.
Nicolas Echavarria completed the day for the Razorbacks with a round of eight-over par, 78. Battling throughout the round, Echavarria struggled to recover from back-to-back bad holes on the front nine which moved him from one-under par to five-over. Despite his tough final day, the freshman did contribute one round to Arkansas' team total and tied for 39th overall in the 70-person field.
The Razorbacks once again get just a couple days off from competition before they take the course again, Oct. 8-9 at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in Dublin, Ohio.