NCAA Golf News

Pollo, Cats Clinch Arizona NIT Titles

Pollo, Cats Clinch Arizona NIT Titles

TUCSON, Ariz. – As Arizona freshman Zach Pollo sank his three-footer for par on the last putt of the last hole of the 2023 Arizona NIT, he clinched a pair of championships for the Wildcats of historical significance. No 18 Arizona Men’s Golf won the team title with a final score of 24-under par to beat No. 9 Pepperdine by a single stroke for the Cats’ first win at the event since 2003. Pollo also secured a share of the individual title with USC’s Jackson Rivera at 13-under to become the first Arizona freshman to win a tournament since Henry Liaw won the Pac-10 Championships in 2004.

Pollo catapulted the Cats into contention by shooting a 7-under round of 65 on Friday afternoon before leading the Wildcats again on Saturday with a final round of 68. He and sophomore Tiger Christensen were clutch down the stretch as each shot 4-under in the final round. Christensen would sink Arizona’s only birdie on the 18th hole on Saturday, a group ahead of Pollo, to give the Wildcats their one-stroke advantage.

Arizona was able to card a final round team score of 9-under and weather a feverous push from Pepperdine on the final day as the Waves carded a blistering 18-under round on Saturday. The Wildcats were at their best on Omni Tucson National’s longest holes, finishing one stroke behind Florida for the tournament lead in par-5 scoring at 34-under par. The Cats tallied a tournament-best five eagles on par 5’s over the weekend with Christensen and Chaz Aurilia each sinking a pair.

Christensen’s strong final round propelled him up to a top-10 finish for the third time in five events in 2023. He finished the Arizona NIT in a tie for tenth at 6-under par.

Saturday’s team win of the Arizona NIT gives Arizona Men’s Golf a win in a home tournament for a sixth consecutive year after winning the Arizona Intercollegiate in five consecutive seasons from 2018 to 2022.

The Wildcats will return to action for the nationally-televised Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa…


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