Jacob Skov Olesen and Brandon Shong both turned in record-setting performances last weekend and helped the Ranger College men's golf team kick off their 2019 season with an impressive victory at the High Country Shootout in Ruidoso, New Mexico.
"It was a great weekend for Ranger Golf to get the team win, and even sweeter to go first and second individually," said RC head coach Jared Harriman. "I'm very proud of them, and pleased with how hard our entire team played."
Led by Olesen and Shong, Ranger College raced past a pair of Region V rivals – and nationally-ranked teams - to win the team championship. The Rangers turned in consistent rounds of 273-273-272 and finished with a final mark of 818. Midland College, which entered the meet ranked No. 2, was second at 824. Odessa College, the No. 7 team in the latest Golfstat ranking, was third at 825.
A freshman, Olesen set the tone for Ranger's domination in the first round of the event. He tied the course record over the first 18 holes by shooting a mark of 63. That score helped RC take a 1-stroke lead over Midland into the second round of play.
Shong added more fuel to the Rangers' fire from there. Less than 24 hours after watching Olesen tie the course record, the sophomore from Sydney, Australia, carded a new course best with a round of 62 – 10 shots below par on the 6,757-yard course.
His outstanding performance left him 1-stroke behind Olesen in the individual standings heading into the third and final round. Shong had gone onto the second round sitting outside the top 10 with a first-round mark of 70 – seven behind Olesen.
"Jacob and Brandon helped set the pace for us at this tournament. Their ability to leave the ball in the correct places on the fairways and greens is what led to really good consistent scores for them all three rounds."
Olesen nailed down the individual round with a final round of 67. Shong finished with a 68, leaving him in second, two strokes off the winning pace.
Kittiphong Phaituachreunsuk and Connor Groove also played well for RC. Phaituachreunsuk finished in a tie for 13th with a final score of 208. Groove tied for 21st overall at 211.