The Rogers State Men’s Golf team and freshman golfer Nico Horder claimed the team and individual titles at the Jack Brown Memorial Invitational hosted by Texas A&M International at the Max Mandel Municipal Golf Course.

Horder set a new school record for a 54-hole tournament, finishing the event with a score of -12 to win by four shots.

The Hillcats won the team competition by five strokes, defeating three ranked programs with a score of -6 for the event.

How It Happened: After entering day two trailing by one stroke, the Hillcats shot -8 as a team over the final round to come from behind and defeat 11 programs, including No. 8 St. Mary’s, No. 15 Midwestern State and No. 18 St. Edward’s.

Rogers State was in the top three all day, but didn’t make the surge up the leader board until the final six holes. The Hillcats dropped seven shots over the last third of the round, moving from as much as three behind to five in front of St. Mary’s and St. Edward’s, whom both finished at -1 in a tie for second.

Players of Note: After entering the day tied for the lead, Horder excelled under the pressure of the final round and golfed a bogey free round with four birdies to cut four more shots off of his score to finish at -12. Horder was under par in all three rounds, finishing with a 66, 70 and 68.

The biggest mover of the day was Edwin Blomander. The No. 81 ranked golfer climbed 20 places to finish in a tie for 9th overall after putting together the best final round in the field with a -5 score of 67. Blomander had one bogey, but also made four birdies and closed out the tournament with an eagle to finish at +1 for the event.

Finishing between Horder and Blomander was Luke Palmowski, who climbed five spots on the final day to finish in a tie for fifth at -2. Palmowski came into the final day after back-to-back rounds of par on Monday and shot a -2 round of 70 to close the tournament. Palmowski had two early birdies, but closed out the front nine with a bogey and double bogey. He recovered to shoot -3 on the back nine with three birdies and six pars.

Aidan Gavey closed out the scoring for the Hillcats in the final round, shooting a +3 round of 75. After shooting 74s in both rounds on Monday, Gavey was +4 through the first 10 holes on Tuesday. However, he bounced back with a birdie after a double bogey and then added another birdie as he shot -1 over the final eight holes. Gavey finished in a tie for 24th overall at +7 for the tournament.

Quote: “I’m so proud of this team and their effort these past few days,” said head coach Steve Brown. “Nico obviously led the way and played some incredible golf, but everyone finished strong and contributed to an outstanding team victory. To come down here and face some of the best teams in the country, and leave with the trophy is pretty special.”

Key Statistics: Rogers State shared the lead for eagles in the tournament with four. The Hillcats were also in the top three in team scoring average on the par 4s and par 5s. Blomander, Horder and Palmowski all finished in the top four in par 5 scoring, while Horder finished in the top two in scoring on par 3s, par 4s and par 5s.

Notes: Horder’s tournament score of -12 broke the 54-hole scoring record for Rogers State, previously held by Blomander and Palmowski at -10.

Horder becomes the seventh different Hillcat to win an event in program history, and the second this season after Blomander won the NSU Golf Classic in September.

Rogers State’s team total of -6 is the third best scoring performance in program history. It is the 12th victory for the Rogers State Men’s Golf team in program history and the first since March of 2019.

Horder (-6 and -4) and Blomander (-5) set three of the top 24 scoring rounds in school history in the event.

Rogers State’s -8 in the final round is the fourth best round in program history for the team. The -3 in round one is tied for the eighth best round in school history.

What It Means: The victory gives the Hillcats a strong start to the spring schedule, as Rogers State defeated a trio of top 25 teams, to earn quality points in the rankings and postseason matrix.

Scores:

Place

Golfer/School

Rd1

Rd2

Rd3

Score

Par

1

Nico Horder  

66

70

68

204

-12

T5

Luke Palmowski  

72

72

70

214

-2

T9

Edwin Blomander  

73

77

67

217

+1

T24

Aidan Gavey  

74

74

75

223

+7

56

Gonzalo Chaves  

82

83

78

243

+27

1

Rogers State  

285

293

280

858

-6

 

Up Next: The Hillcats will have two weeks off before returning to action with another big event against several nationally ranked programs. Rogers State will head to South Carolina for the Battle at Hilton Head hosted at Palmetto Dunes Arthur Hills Course on February 24-25.