The Murray State men’s golf team took third in its second invitational of the season, once again dominating every conference team with which they were confronted.
The Racers finished their first day of competition in third at the Cardinal Invitational in Louisville, Ky., just 10 shots behind first place Bowling Green State in a field of 14 teams. Freshman Preston French and senior Tyler Brown led the first day, both ending in 11th place.
On Tuesday, competition was delayed for several hours by rain, but the Racers did not falter, finishing where they started. French and Brown tied for 13th, sharing the team’s best score at 217.
As a team, the Racers finished behind first place Bowling Green by 10 shots and second place University of Louisville by just one stroke.
“It was really a good tournament,” said Head Coach Eddie Hunt. “I was pleased with the way we played. We just barely missed the second by one shot. We really played well the last round. We were the top finisher in the OVC. The whole team did a good job. Our top four guys finished in the top 20, so that was a really strong showing of the players skills.”
Unlike their first competition in Pineville, Ky., where the seniors lead the way; this week Murray State was lead by French, coming from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky., and a successful summer of golfing, taking second in the Lexington City Championship and qualifying for the Kentucky State Amateur.
“Preston had a great tournament as a freshman,” Hunt said. “He did well all three days. I think he’s gonna have a really great career at Murray State. We’re glad to have him on. I think we’ve got a good mix this year. We have three really solid seniors and a good group of freshmen with Preston leading the way. I think him playing with these older kids has really made him a better player. With Patrick (Newcomb) being the player of the year last year in the OVC and Hunter York playing really well, I think Preston has worked hard with them and he’s gonna’ be a good player for us.”
On Monday the Racers host the MSU Invitational, at which will be several conference competitors. Included on that list is Jacksonville State University, who are top OVC competitors, and tapped into an enormity of success last season. If the first few tournaments of the season are any indication, the Racers may have the chance to change that though, sending their seniors out with an OVC win.
“The only team we haven’t seen yet is Jacksonville State,” Hunt said. “They won the OVC last year, and they’ve got a couple of players back that are really strong players. I think they’ll be some really strong competition for us. It always comes down to three or four teams every year. I definitely think we’ll be one of those teams. I think Austin Peay’s got a good team and then Jacksonville will probably be our main competition.”
The Racers have won the MSU Invitation for eight consecutive years and will look to continue their successful tradition Monday and Tuesday at Miller Memorial Golf Course in Murray.
Kyra Ledbetter/Staff writer