Alejandro Canizares Wins Again

March 1, 2005

Arizona State men's golfer Alejandro Canizares won the Puerto Rico Classic at Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort and Country Club on Tuesday, his third tournament win in his past four outings and the sixth collegiate title in his three-year career.

The junior shot a 12-under 204 (69-67-68) to easily win the title by five strokes. His sixth collegiate title ties him with Paul Casey and Charlie Gibson for third on the Sun Devil career win list, behind only Billy Mayfair (eight) and Phil Mickelson (16).

'My putting was a little shaky at times, but tee to green I played pretty strong,' Canizares told Golfweek after the match. 'Overall, I'm very happy with the way I played this week. Hopefully, I can keep it going the rest of the spring. I am definitely playing with a lot of confidence right now and I think that's what you have to do to be successful in golf.'

Georgia Tech won the event at 19-under 845 while Florida was second a 849. Oklahoma State, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings going into the tournament, finished with a 3-under 285 and was third among the 18 team field at 14-under 850. Arizona State was the only other team to end in red numbers with a 7-under 857 total and finished fourth.

Canizares started the final round at 8 under and was one shot in front of East Tennessee State's Cian McNamara and two better than Florida's James Vargas and teammate Kendall Cirtichfield.

Beginning on the fourth hole in a shotgun start, Canizares bogeyed No. 8, but bounced right back with birdies on the next three holes to take solid command of the tournament.

The key to the round came at the short 290-yard, par-4 13th hole. Going for the green off the tee, Canizares hooked his drive and it was headed out of bounds. But the ball hit the OB fence, bounded right and wound up in a bunker about 5 yards from being unplayable. His bunker shot landed 6 feet from the hole and he sank the putt, turning a possible double bogey into a birdie.

'That was a huge break,' he said. 'But in this game sometimes if you're going to win you're going to have to get some breaks.'

Canizares, the 2003 NCAA Champion, picked up where he left off in early February, as he won the Arizona/Ping Intercollegiate on Jan. 31-Feb. 1. In October, he won the final fall event on Oct. 25-26, picking up medalist honors at the Bandon Dunes Invitational. His stroke average this year is now 70.85 through six tournaments.

Critchfield also played very well, finishing with a 4-under 212 (69-69-74), which tied him for eighth. Pat Moore tied for 28th at 3-over 219 (74-73-72), Jesse Mueller tied for 40th at 6-over 222 (72-77-73) and Niklas Lemke tied for 82nd at 17-over 233 (77-77-79).

For full results, go to golfstat.com

Top 5 Team Scores1. Georgia Tech 280-278-287=845, -192. Florida 279-283-287=849, -153. Oklahoma State 282-283-285=850, -144. Arizona State 284-286-287=857, -75. Georgia 278-298-289=865, +1

Sun Devil Scores1. Alejandro Canizares 69-67-68=204, -12T8. Kendall Critchfield 69-69-74=212, -4T28. Pat Moore 74-73-72=219, +3T40. Jesse Mueller 72-77-73=222, +6T82. Niklas Lemke, 77-77-79=233, +17

Alejandro Canizares Collegiate Titles (6)2005 Puerto Rico Classic (Rio Grande, Puerto Rico)2005 Arizona PING-Intercollegiate (Tucson, Ariz.)2004 Bandon Dunes Invitational (Bandon Dunes, Ore.)2004 ASU Thunderbird Invitational (Tempe, Ariz.)2003 NCAA Championship (Stillwater, Okla.)2003 National Invitational (Tucson, Ariz.)

ASU Individual Collegiate TitlesPhil Mickelson, 16Billy Mayfair, 8Alejandro Canizares, 6Paul Casey, 6Charlie Gibson, 6Todd Demsey, 5

Note: Quotes and some of the copy are Golfweek coverage. For complete story on the tournament, go to Golfweek.com.

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