It was just another day at the office for Head Coach Eddie Hunt and the men’s golf team as they continued their streak of top-five finishes on Oct. 23 with a fourth-place finish at the Austin Peay State University Intercollegiate.
Held on The Links at Novadell Golf Club in Hopkinsville, Ky., Murray State finished the first round tied for second with Belmont, SIUE and Austin Peay, while Lipscomb held a one-shot lead with an opening round 289.
However, it was all Austin Peay (860) from then on, as the team went on to fire back-to-back 285s en route to a seven-shot victory over second-place Lipscomb (867).
SIUE (875) placed fifth to round out the top-five for the tournament.
Once again, it was the seniors who led the Racers to a strong finish, but Hunt said he believed the team left a little bit out there in the last round.
“I was fairly pleased,” Hunt said. “I was disappointed in the last round. If we play that last round like we should have, we could have brought home a second place finish.”
Even then, Hunt said the fall has been kind to the Racers saying the team is rounding into shape as they near the end of the fall portion of their schedule.
“I think our top four have played really well, and we’ve kept the same top four players all year long,” Hunt said. “Moving forward, we have to find our fifth guy. We’ve had to plug in some young guys into the last slot, and so we’ve got some young guys battling to be the fifth guy heading into our final tournament of the fall season.”
Senior Patrick Newcomb led the Racers with a three-round score of 211 (68-72-71) and held the top spot on the leaderboard after the first round, but struggled to stay on top and had to settle for an individual fifth-place finish.
Despite not bringing home top honors, Newcomb still leads the OVC in scoring average. After 15 rounds, Newcomb is seventh in the country for Division I scoring average.
Finishing in 11th was senior Hunter York, who posted a three-round 217 (73-74-70), while senior Tyler Brown rolled in with 17th and a three-round 220 (73-69-78).
Sophomore Wade Thompson ended the tournament in 51st with a 229 (76-77-76) and freshman Preston French posted a 57th place finish and a three-round score of 230 (77-74-79).
With just one more event on the fall schedule, the Racers hope to finish the first half of the season with six straight top-five finishes. They tee off Nov. 5 for the Arkansas State Red Wolves Classic at Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Hunt says this final tournament will be one of the bigger tests the Racers will face, and he and the team are certainly looking forward to continuing their consistent play and ending the fall season on a high note.
“I really like this tournament because we play a lot of teams we normally see only once or twice a year,” Hunt said. “We play Vanderbilt, who is 18th in the country, Rice, Illinois State and Troy, and it will be a really good gauge for how we stack up against some of the better teams from around the entire country.”
Edward Marlowe, Staff Writer