April 29, 2014
By Tom Weber
The Southern Illinois University men's golf team finished tied for seventh place at the Missouri Valley Conference Championships in Silvis, Ill. on Tuesday, moving up two spots in the standings during today's final round.
The Salukis were in good position after the first round yesterday, placing fifth with a score of 306, but the second round proved to be the team's undoing with a 311, and today's score of 302 in round three was not enough to make a significant climb in the standings. Wichita State continued its league dominance as the Shockers won their seventh-straight and a league-record 19th overall title.
"We're kind of disappointed because we thought we were the fourth or fifth-best team out there," said SIU head coach Leroy Newton, whose Saluki teams have finished in the top three at the conference championships five times since 2006. "We had a couple of bad breaks in the second round, and didn't execute, but we would have loved to play a few more days."
Drew Novara was Southern's top finisher placing 18th among 45 golfers at the Par 71 TPC Deere Run Golf Course. He shot the team's best round -- an even par 71 -- in today's final 18 holes of golf and carded four birdies. Steven Souchek took 20th place for his best showing of the spring.
The Salukis will return four of their top five golfers next season, losing only senior Caleb Harms.
"This is a young group that gained a lot of valuable experience this year," Newton said. "Next year, we're going to be contending. We had to swallow our pride a little this year for a chance to do really well next year."
SIU Individual Scores
1 Wichita State 291 299 284 874 +22
2 Illinois State 297 294 286 877 +25
3 Bradley University 305 291 301 897 +45
4 Northern Iowa 296 302 302 900 +48
5 Missouri State 311 296 298 905 +53
6 Evansville 311 310 291 912 +60
T7 Drake 318 293 308 919 +67
T7 Southern Illinois U. 306 311 302 919 +67
9 Loyola U.- Chicago 313 299 308 920 +68