Three Cougar golfers placed in the top 25 at Arkansas State’s Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate tournament.
After three rounds, the Cougars placed fifth out of 11 teams with an overall score of 886 at RidgePointe Country Club in Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Head Coach Derrick Brown said he felt good about the tournament and hopes the golfers are able to continue to play well in their upcoming tournaments.
“I thought we played well. We got off to a little bit of a rough start the first nine holes of the tournament but the last 45 holes we played really well, so overall I was happy with the top-five finish and the momentum we’ve had the last three events,” Brown said.
Brown said in preparation for the upcoming Missouri Tiger Invitational as well as the Ohio Valley Conference Championship, the team needs to work on starting off strong.
Senior Conor Dore tied for 13th with a score of 218, 2 over par, and junior Albert Nilsson tied for 22nd with a score of 223.
Freshman Brooks Jungbluth was tied for 38th at the end of the ASU tournament with a score of 229.
“As a team, it was a tough course. I thought our scores were respectable, but we still would have liked to shoot a little bit better — some of us left some strokes out there. I thought we played smart golf for most of it, keeping our scores at a reasonable number,” Jungbluth said.
According to Jungbluth, the greens at the tournament were not ideal course conditions. For the first 36 holes it was windy, which caused unwanted results out of certain swings for a few of the golfers.
Although every golfer at the tournament is faced with the same course conditions, Jungbluth said the conditions can mentally affect some more than others.
“It’s a mental test not letting yourself get frustrated. It’s frustrating, but you can’t let yourself get frustrated out there,” Jungbluth said. Senior Kyle Slattery tied for 16th place with a score of 220.
“One thing we all need to work on is putting. I think that’s a big thing looking to the next tournaments that we need to practice,” Slattery said.
Both Jungbluth and Brown were looking forward to the tournament at Mizzou, which gave the team a chance to play against high-ranked teams and get some practice in before the OVC Championship.
Jungbluth said if a golfer can get into higher rankings at the Mizzou tournament, it will help him jump up in the overall rankings.
The team was able to see Eastern Kentucky University and Jacksonville State University at the ASU tournament, which are two teams the Cougars will be competing against at the OVC Championship.
“That really gave us a good indicator of where we need to be at to compete with [EKU and Jacksonville State] because right now we are the top three teams in the conference, so it was good to get an early look at them,” Jungbluth said. “I know we didn’t beat them, but we were right there, and we knew we didn’t play as well as we could have, so if we put it all together at OVC then it’ll be a good tournament.”
The team was able to move up one place, from sixth to fifth, by the second day of the tournament.
The team was preceded by Arkansas State at 857, University of Louisiana at Monroe at 873, Eastern Kentucky at 879 and Jacksonville State at 880.
The course was a par 72 and SIUE finished at 22 over par.
The team wrapped their regular season at the Missouri Tiger Invitational with a ninth-place tie on April 9.
Senior Will Starkey led the way for the Cougars with a tie for fifth place overall.
Looking toward the OVC Championship, golf is now second in the OVC for average score per round at 290.2, just one point above Jacksonville State.
Senior Kyle Slattery currently holds the top individual spot in the OVC with an average score per round of 71.1.
The OVC Championship will start 8 a.m. Sunday, April 21 and wrap on Tuesday, April 23 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.