NORMAN, Okla. Anthony Kim turned in his third consecutive under-par round Tuesday and ran away with the individual title of the Ashworth Invitational at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif.
The junior from La Quinta, Calif. helped the Sooners finish in a tie for fourth place at 875 (+23), 14 shots behind first-place Pepperdine but only two behind third-place Stanford.
A two-time All-American and reigning Big 12 Player of the Year, Kim fired rounds of 68, 69 and 67 en route to victory. He was also the only player in the field to record three under-par rounds at North Ranch’s 6,742-yard, par-71 layout and was in a tie for second place to start the day on Tuesday. His three-round total of 204 (-9) was seven strokes better than runner-up Zack Miller of Stanford.
The Ashworth Invitational title is the fourth of Kim’s career and his first of the season. As a sophomore he was co-champion of the inaugural Texas A&M Invitational in addition to his Big 12 crown. Kim also won the Taylor Made Waikoloa Intercollegiate as a freshman in 2004.
Junior Nick Sheedy finished in a tie for 18th at 219 (+6) after a two-over 73 in the final round. Sophomore Phillip Bryan also recorded a top-25 finish, tying for 24th with a three-round total of 220 (+7). Senior Shawn LaFontaine’s third-round 76 was the final counting score for the Sooners on Tuesday. LaFontaine finished at 235 (+22) for the tournament and in 70th place. Fellow senior Justin Fraley came in at 233 (+20) and was tied for 67th overall.
Heavy rain suspended second-round play on Monday. Teams returned to the course Tuesday at 7 a.m. PST for the remainder of round two with the final 18 beginning shortly thereafter.
The Sooners’ strong showing continues a pattern of clear improvement in the spring. After finishing 13th and 18th in its two fall tournaments, the OU squad has made significant strides in its three outings this spring.
In January, Oklahoma took highly ranked Tennessee to the final hole in a match play duel in San Diego, Calif. In their first stroke play event, the University of Hawaii-Hilo Intercollegiate, the Sooners recorded their first top-10 finish of the season. The fourth- place finish at the Ashworth has OU that much closer to claiming its first tournament victory since 2001.
Next up for Oklahoma is the Hall of Fame Invitational hosted by the University of Texas, March 17-19 at Redstone Golf Club in Houston.