April 7, 2009
By Kyle Herm
HOLLISTER, Mo. - The Saluki men's golf team stumbled with a 318 in Tuesday's final round of the 12-team Branson Creek Invitational to finish seventh after being tied for second after 18 holes.
Southern Illinois was a mere five strokes off the lead after Monday's opening round at the par 71, 7,036-yard Branson Creek Golf Course, and looked to be in perfect shape for Tuesday.
However, SIU was in rare form during the final round with a season-worst 18-hole score to drop back out of the top five with a 624.
"I'm just disappointed because we didn't play very well yesterday, but we were still tied for second," said coach Leroy Newton. "We had a great opportunity to beat some very good teams including some in the MVC, but couldn't finish strong."
The seventh place is the team's worst finish of the season, and lowest since finishing 10th at the 2008 ASU Indian Classic.
Western Illinois turned in a final-round 299 to hold on to the team medalist with a 36-hole total of 600.
Arkansas Little Rock took second with a 608, Illinois State placed third with a 610, Oral Roberts claimed fourth with a 616 and Stephen F. Austin and Nebraska tied for fifth with a 623.
Despite the lackluster day, the Salukis still beat five other Valley teams competing in the field.
Junior Patrick Scheil shot a final-round 4-over-par 75 to finish tied for 10th overall and lead SIU with a 152.
Junior Jordan Cox carded a 79 to tie for 14th with a 153, Phillip Collier tied for 40th with a 159 (78-81), Blake Driskell finished tied for 45th with a 160 (77-83), and senior co-captain Todd Obergoenner tied for 55th with a 165 (82-83).
The men's golf team will look to rebound next week at the ASU Classic in Jonesboro, Ark. Monday and Tuesday, April 13-14.