Golfer Santiago De La Fuente starts the spring season strong


Last week, Houston Cougar golfer Santiago De La Fuente won the Border Olympics in Laredo. He shot 70-71-71 (-4, 212) to win by a shot, becoming the 17th Cougar to win the country’s oldest collegiate tournament.

This week, the Coogs teed it up at the Bayou City Collegiate Classic at Westwood Golf Club on Houston’s southwest side. De La Fuente shot 70-69-69 to finish tied for second at -8. That’s a strong start for Santiago to start the season. All six rounds were under par, and he has a spring scoring average of 70.0.

Campbell Gibson led the Coogs with 15 birdies in three days, seven of which came in a wild first round (he also made five bogeys). Gibson was more consistent in rounds two and three, making three bogeys over the last 36 hours. He finished -7, tied for fourth. Austyn Reily shot 68 in the final round, including an eagle-two on the par-4 9th hole. He jumped 12 spots on the last day to a tie for eighth.

Full team and player leaderboards can be found here.

Monday’s first round was my first time watching De La Fuente in a competition. The UH junior transferred from Arkansas Tech in the summer, where he played on the 2021 D2 national title team. In the first two rounds, he played alongside Cougar Austyn Reily, who we have gotten to know, as well as two golfers from Rice.

Players were battling gusty conditions and a little rain on Monday morning. De La Fuente flighted the ball well and thought his way through the stretch I was able to see.

Here’s a short video of him on 16-17-18 in the first round.

The Cougars are back in action on March 6th in Cabo and host the All-America Intercollegiate beginning on March 20th.

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