|ISU men’s golf takes second in Kentucky|
|Written by J. Ross Mason, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:12|
Everyone wants to believe in the underdog, that someone can fight through adversity, make the big shot and come from behind to win.
The ISU men’s golf team traveled to Louisville, Ky., to compete in the Cardinal Intercollegiate tournament Monday and Tuesday.
Like the proverbial underdog, the Redbirds started out slow, sitting at fourth place at the end of the first round.
In the end though, ISU fought its way to the top, securing a second place finish out of 16 teams.
“This was a good team outing for us, where everyone contributed,” Illinois State Head Coach Ray Kralis said.
He added, “We are doing a good job of staying in the process and accepting outcomes — good or bad. That is becoming strength of this team.”
The first round began early Monday proceeded by the second round later in the day. The Redbirds concluded the first day tied at fourth, carding a five-under-par 571 (280-291).
“While we gave a couple back in the second round, the 291 was still a solid team effort, and I love seeing some of the mental toughness the guys are showing when dealing with adversity,” Kralis said.
Junior Eric Meier headed the Redbirds with a three-under-par 141 (66-75).
In the first round, Meier hit a six-under-par 66 (31-35), the best overall score of the first round. After the second round, Meier was still sitting comfortably, tied for fifth.
“Meier’s 66 was big for us, and we had a great team effort to go with it to finish the morning at eight under,” Kralis said.
He added, “On the 36-hole days there is not much time to enjoy your performance, but the experience of leading is invaluable because you quickly realize the importance of staying in the present with so much golf still to play.”
Also during that first day, senior Jeff Kellen helped to push the Redbirds up the rankings, meeting par with a 144 (71-73), placing him tied at 24th.
Senior Drew North stroked a four-over-par 148 (76-72), helping to cement the Redbirds’ standing.
“It is a 54-hole event; it is still anyone’s ball game when it is this bunched near the top and you are counting four scores,” Kralis said.
As Tuesday rolled around, the final round began. ISU continued to perform admirably, improving on its scores from the second round by two strokes, carding a 289 for the round.
In the end, the team jumped up two spots in the rankings, coming in at second out of 16 teams for the tournament, with an overall score of four-under-par 860 (280-291-289).
During the final round, the team was led by senior Will Cullen, who managed a one-under-par 71. He was followed by Meier and freshman Wils Hawn, who each met par, hitting a 72 for the round.
Overall, Meier led the team, tying for fourth place with a three-under-par 213 (66-75-72). Hawn tied for sixth, scoring a two-under-par 214 (70-72-72). And rounding out things for the golfers was Will Cullen, who tied for 21st place with a two-over-par 218 (73-74-71).
The overall winner in the individual standings was sophomore Aaron Boggs from Marshall University.
Boggs fired off a six-under-par 210, with a personal tournament best of 69 in the second round.
Kennesaw State University rounded out the top three in individual standings with junior Jeff Karlsson claiming second with a five-under-par 211 and senior Chad Wilson in third by firing off a four-under-par 212.
Overall, Miami University won the tournament, narrowly beating out the Redbirds with a score of seven-under-par 857 (289-279-289). Following ISU in third place was Marshall University with a two-under-par 862 (282-284-296.)
“We had strong individual performances with both Meier and Hawn under par for the 54 holes,” Kralis said.
He added, “When we get that combination of strong individual performances with contributions across the board, we are seeing how competitive we can be in any field. That is huge for the team’s confidence, especially this early in the season.”
The ‘Birds return to action Oct. 2 when they host the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate tournament.