Sept. 22, 2008
By Kyle Herm
LEMONT, Ill. - The Saluki men's golf team edged Nova Southeastern in a dramatic tiebreaker Monday to win the 15-team John Dallio Memorial tournament at Ruffled Feathers Golf Course in Lemont, Ill.
Southern Illinois shot an 8-over-par 296 in the final round, and sat tied with Nova Southeastern after 54 holes at 9-over 873.
In order to break the tie, the tournament officials compared the fifth-man final round scores for both teams, and the Salukis prevailed with junior Blake Driskell defeating Ben Vertz 80 to 86.
"We learned today to never give up, no matter what happens," said head coach Leroy Newton. "Blake (Driskell) had a tough round, but scrapped for every stroke, and in the end his effort helped us earn the win."
Nova Southeastern stood just one stroke behind SIU heading into the final round, and sent the tournament to a tiebreaker after posting a 7-over 295 in the last 18 holes.
"It was a mixed emotion day," explained Driskell. "I went from being disappointed with how I played, to feeling great that I had done enough to help us win."
Behind the Salukis and Nova Southeastern, Detroit Mercy fired a 3-under-par 285 to move from seventh to third place, Georgetown fell to fourth place with a 14-over 302 and Drake dropped two spots to finish fifth.
Senior co-captain John Danielson, who led SIU in the final day with a 1-under 71 to finish tied for 20th, said the conditions made the final day much more difficult.
"The wind and pin placements were tough today, but we just tried to focus on being right around par," said Danielson. "We fought through it, and it feels great to have come out on top in such a competitive tournament."
"I didn't have my best round, but that's the thing with this team, we pick each other up," said Obergoenner. "We still have areas where we can improve, but we feel very confident as a team."
Senior Phillip Collier shot a final round 1-over 73 to finish tied for 13th (2-over-par 218), freshman Luke Daily recorded a 4-over 76 to tie for 22nd (6-over 222) and Driskell rounded out SIU's scores with a 233 to tie for 60th.
"This was a complete team effort, and I'm proud with how we handled the pressure," said Newton. "We've had a great start to the season."
Southern Illinois will continue play next Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 29-30 at the Cleveland State Invitational in Chardon, Ohio.