Texas Tech opened its season just like head coach JoJo Robertson hoped Tuesday as the Red Raiders closed the Sam Golden Invitational in second place following a 5-under-par 283 final round at the Wildhorse Golf Club in Denton.
Did she expect the lowest 54-hole score in school history? Possibly not, but that's just what the Red Raiders were able to do after signing for a 23-under 841 final card. It topped the previous record of 842 that was set at the 2017 Jim West Challenge, which, ironically, also opened the Red Raiders' season.
"This is a great start to our season," Robertson said. "I'm really excited about this team and for what we can accomplish as a team moving forward."
The Red Raiders were only two strokes off the 18-hole record Monday to start the tournament after firing a 12-under 276, essentially putting Tech in contention to compete against a talented field that featured nine other NCAA Regional participants from a year ago.
The runner-up finish marks the second time in the past three years the Red Raiders have started its season in second place or better as Tech previously had a similar showing at the Trinity Forest Invitational to start the 2019-20 COVID-shortened campaign.
The team performance was probably even more memorable for freshman Chiara Horder, who excelled individually in her collegiate debut, posting a 5-under 67 final round to move into a tie for 10th overall. Horder, who was 10-under for the tournament, turned in her second bogey-free round in as many days and then capitalized early with four birdies on the front nine and then sank her final one at par-4 16th.
She was one of three Red Raiders among the top-20 individuals, joining both Gala Dumez and Amy Taylor who finished tied for 20th at 4-under for the tournament. Dumez combined with Horder to push the Red Raiders over the final 18 holes, signing for a 3-under 69 card, while Taylor was 2-over for her round.
Anna Dong chipped in a 1-over round to close the tournament in a tie for 28th at 1-under. Chelsea Romas, who was also making her collegiate debut alongside Horder, rounded out the Tech lineup at 5-over on the day and at 6-over for the tournament.
Oklahoma State claimed the team title at 36-under for the tournament as the Cowgirls topped Tech after entering the round with only a one-stroke lead. The Red Raiders held off TCU in third place at 21-under followed by Texas A&M in fourth at 20-under and Oklahoma in fifth at 17-under.
The Red Raiders will return to the road in less than a week as Tech tees off at the Mercedes Benz Invitational, hosted by Tennessee, next Monday. The two-day event will be held at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville.