Brun Makes TCU History with Insperity ASU Invitational Crown
April 1, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga.—Freshman Julien Brun set new TCU records for victories in a season and a career with his third top-medalist honor of the season Sunday, as he held off a strong field of challengers at the Insperity Augusta State Invitational.
Brun and senior teammate Johan de Beer, who tied for ninth place, led the Horned Frogs to a tie for fourth place on the team leaderboard with a three-round total of -12, which matched No. 31 Baylor. Top-ranked Texas prevailed in a two-hole playoff over two-time defending NCAA champion and 48th-ranked Augusta State to claim the team championship after both squads finished regulation play at -26, while No. 44 Illinois was third.
TCU, ranked No. 37 in the latest Golfstat national rankings, finished in front of five top-50 programs: No. 47 Virginia Tech, No. 49 South Carolina, No. 26 Oklahoma State, No. 39 SMU and No. 14 Clemson. The field featured nine top-50 programs overall.
Brun continued his assault on the TCU history books by posting the third individual tournament title of his freshman season. The product of Antibes, France, entered the day with a one-stroke lead and held off No. 2-ranked Dylan Frittelli of Texas by finishing with a 3-under-par 69 that pushed his overall weekend total to -14. The two golfers took to the No. 15 tee tied at -12 and both posted birdies on holes 15 and 17 to remain locked atop the leaderboard. Brun then recorded a par-4 on the 302-yard 18th hole before Frittelli missed his par putt in an attempt to force a playoff.
“(Frittelli) and I both played better and better as the round moved along today,” Brun said. “I struggled a little at the beginning of the round, but I played very well on the back nine, as did he. To be able to go up against a golfer like him and win is really big for me. I made a couple changes to my swing and it’s nice to know that those worked when tested against some very good competition.”
The individual field that Brun bested in Augusta was a strong one featuring nine of the nation’s top-50 individuals, as well as 13 of the top-100. In addition to the second-ranked Frittelli, freshman Jordan Spieth, Frittelli’s top-ranked Longhorn teammate, also was among the challengers, as was 10th-ranked Talor Gooch from Oklahoma State (tied for 12th).
Brun is now 3-for-3 this season when holding the lead entering the final round of play adding to his previous wins at the Turning Stone Tiger Invitational (Sept. 4-5) and the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational (Feb. 26-28). Prior to Brun, only four other TCU golfers had won two tournaments in a single season (Jeff Hiemenz – 1981-82; Jim Sorenson – 1985-86; J.J. Henry – 1997-98; David Schultz – 2002-03), while Bret Guetz was the only other Frog with two victories in a career (2000-01, 2001-02).
Brun finished each of his three rounds in Augusta with sub-70 scores (68-65-69). His current season stroke average of 70.87 is on pace to top Henry’s program-record mark of 71.08 set in 1997-98, when he was named Golfweek/Taylor Made National Player of the Year. Brun has now finished in the top-20 in nine of 10 tournaments this season while placing fifth or better five times.
Joining Brun in the top 10 was de Beer, who continued his strong recent play by earning a share of ninth place at -7. The senior from Pretoria, South Africa, fired a 3-under 69 Sunday after posting four birdies and one bogey. The result marked de Beer’s third consecutive top-10 finish. The recent success has propelled him into the No. 58 spot in the most recent Golfstat national rankings.
Rounding out TCU’s contingent in Augusta were freshman Thomas Mantovanini, who tied for 48th place at +3 following a 5-over 77 in the final round, junior Daniel Jennevret, who shot a 1-under 71 to tie for 66th place (+8), and sophomore Ian Phillips, who finished 75th (+16) following a 6-over 78 on Sunday.
TCU returns to the links for its final tune-up for the Mountain West Championship April 21-22, when it travels to Lafayette, Ind., for the Boilermaker Invitational at Purdue’s Kampen Course.
INSPERITY AUGUSTA STATE INVITATIONAL
Augusta, Ga. (Forest Hills Golf Club)
April 1, 2012
TEAM STANDINGS (16 teams)
1. *Texas – (-26; 282-277-279-838)
2. Augusta State – (-26; 282-277-279-838)
3. Illinois – (-18; 291-273-282-846)
4. TCU – (-12; 290-276-286-852)
Baylor – (-12; 291-284-277-852)
* - won two-hole playoff over Augusta State
INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (80 competitors)
1. Julien Brun, TCU – (-14; 68-65-69-202)
2. Dylan Frittelli, Texas – (-13; 68-67-68-203)
3. Taylor Floyd, Augusta State – (-11; 67-67-71-205)
Brendan Gillins, Augusta State – (-11; 70-69-66-205)
5. Jordan Spieth, Texas – (-10; 72-68-66-206)
t9. Johan de Beer, TCU – (-7; 71-69-69-209)
t48. Thomas Mantovanini, TCU – (+3; 72-70-77-219)
t66. Daniel Jennevret, TCU – (+8; 81-72-71-224)
75. Ian Phillips, TCU – (+16; 79-75-78-232)