MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. — It was a gutsy effort, and for the first time in nearly 40 years, the North Texas men have won back-to-back conference championships.
Trailing by one shot heading into the final round, No. 38 UNT outlasted Georgia State down the stretch Wednesday to win the Sun Belt Conference tournament by five shots.
The Mean Green last captured consecutive conference titles in 1974 and 1975 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
North Texas shot the low round of the day at 1-over-par 289 and pulled away from the Panthers over the last five holes.
UNT’s Rodolfo Cazaubon came up just short in his bid to win his fourth individual title of the year, losing medalist honors to Lane Hulse of South Alabama in a playoff. Cazaubon finished second after firing a final round of 2 over. Cazaubon and Hulse were the only players to finish under par, and the Mean Green senior was 2 under at 214 for the tournament.
UNT senior Carlos Ortiz delivered his best round of the tournament. After going 6 over for the first two days, Ortiz put up a 3-under 69 and soared into tie for fifth place.
Ortiz had five birdies on the day and two over the last five holes. Curtis Donahoe also tied for fifth after shooting a 73. Donahoe and Ortiz posted three-round scores of 3-over 219.
UNT’s Marco Scarola shot 73 in the third round. He was steady throughout the day, at one point recording 11 straight pars. Scarola finished tied for 18th, which was a season-best finish and his lowest since 2009. Freshman Gonzalo Rubio shot a 75 and tied for 28th place.
The third Sun Belt crown for the team is the 29th conference title in program history.
North Texas advances to an NCAA regional to be played May 16-18.