Opening Day Yields 20-Under For Cats at NIT
TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona Men's Golf used red-hot opening rounds of 11-under and 9-under on the first day of the Arizona NIT to finish in second place at 20-under. The Wildcats' opener of 11-under was their best round in their annual event since 2018. Graduate senior Christian Banke fired back-to-back rounds of 67 on Friday and sits in fifth at 10-under going into Saturday's finale.
"We played two excellent rounds of today and carded some of our best scores of the season," said head coach Jim Anderson. "Christian continued to be our steady leader with a bogey-free opening round, and Johnny pushed him for our lowest scores by breaking 70 in both of his rounds as well. I am proud of this strong start, and I look forward to us finish this event with a third round of quality golf."
Freshman Johnny Walker tallied a pair of eagles on Friday and joins Banke in the top 10 after rounds of 68 and 69 on Friday. The Arizona lineup got its third top-30 performance from junior Chase Sienkiewicz who sits in a tie for 29th at 2-under par.
Arizona was dominant on Omni Tucson National's longest holes, amassing an impressive mark of 23-under par in par-5 scoring. The Wildcats trailed only Oklahoma State and Pepperdine in the statistic, which propelled the Cowboys to their 21-stroke lead over the Wildcats.
The Cats will look to finish the Arizona NIT on a high note and hold off the 13 teams in the field behind them in Saturday's third and final round.