Team wins after tough defeat at home

The men’s team recorded a score of 861 to force a playoff and come away with a close victory. ||Photo courtesy of Sports Information

The men’s team recorded a score of 861 to force a playoff and come away with a close victory. ||Photo courtesy of Sports Information

The Murray State golf team took first place at the Skyhawk Classic in Paris, Tenn., Tuesday.

The victory came in a playoff against John A. Logan and marked a huge improvement from last week’s unexpected third place finish at the MSU Invitational.

The Racers defeated several OVC teams, including Union University in fourth, and Southern Illinois University and UT Martin, who tied for fifth.

Senior Patrick Newcomb led the Racers with a second-place finish, with freshman Preston French and senior Tyler Brown sharing 12th. Senior Hunter York also managed a top 20 finish in 19th.

“We had a nice win,” Head Coach Eddie Hunt said. “It was kind of a different type of tournament because we tied and we had to go into a playoff amongst two teams and we won the playoffs, so that was kind of exciting, but we had a good win.”

Hunt said the win was certainly not easy, presenting a significant challenge for the Racers.

“I think it was a good tournament for us. We got to have two teams play and we had some OVC schools in it and some schools we don’t normally see, so it was a good test,” Hunt said. “I felt like we had a good opportunity to win the tournament. The thing I was glad to see was that we were down seven shots coming into the final round and then we made up those shots and ended up in the play offs.”

Hunt said his team played with greater consistency at the Skyhawk Classic than they have so far this season.

“We played three rounds and as a team we were under par or at par for three rounds and that’s really consistent if you can play as a team under par,” Hunt said. “I think we really responded to the challenge and played well.”

For the first time in the tournament’s history, the Racers failed to win the MSU Invitational last weekend at Miller Memorial in Murray, Ky.

Seniors Hunter York and Patrick Newcomb managed to tie for seventh place, but it was not enough to offset first-place Union and second-place Lipscomb.

“At the Murray State tournament the weather was extremely bad and we didn’t get to play the full tournament,” Hunt said. “We just played 36 holes instead of the 54. We didn’t play well the last round and I was really disappointed, since it was our invitational. I thought, if we’d gotten to play the last 18 holes we would have made a lot better showing.”

Murray State did, however, manage to beat every OVC school, including newly added Belmont, UT Martin and Morehead State.

The Racer’s next competition is Oct. 22-23 in Hopkinsville, Ky., at the APSU Intercollegiate hosted by Austin Peay.

Kyra Ledbetter, Staff Writer