SIU picked fourth in pre-Championship poll

    Jake Erickson won the Big Blue Intercollegiate in his final tune-up before the MVC Championship.

    Jake Erickson won the Big Blue Intercollegiate in his final tune-up before the MVC Championship.
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    April 24, 2013

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    ST. LOUIS - The Southern Illinois men's golf team was picked to finish fourth in the pre-Missouri Valley Conference Championship poll of league coaches, the conference announced Wednesday. SIU will play host to the MVC Championship at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo., on April 29-30. The nine MVC schools will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday.

    "We're playing our best golf at the best time," head coach Leroy Newton said. "We didn't play as well in the fall; but with the way we're playing now, we think we're better than fourth place. We'll take it as a challenge."

    Southern's veteran lineup includes four seniors, all of whom competed at last year's MVC Championship. Brandon Cauldwell, Jake Erickson, Joe Goelzhauser and Jeffrey Miller all return after competing at last year's MVC Championship. SIU boasts the second-best team stroke average in the field at 298.13. Southern is looking to rebound from an eighth-place finish in 2012.

    "We have four seniors that have given us some good rounds and great leadership at the right time," Newton said. "We have seven really strong golfers that can really compete at this level consistently, so we feel good about our lineup going into the tournament."

    Wichita State was the unanimous pick to win the tournament. The Shockers have finished in the top-two in the tournament for 15-straight years and won the league 10 times in that span.

    Admission is free, and live results will be available on



    ABOUT DALHOUSIE: Dalhousie is an outstanding par-72 course designed by the Nicklaus Group. The course sits on land originally settled in 1798 by Scottish immigrant Rebecca Ramsey, sister of the The Earl of Dalhousie, and skirts private land housing an antebellum mansion that emulates Scotland's famous Dalhousie Castle. The character of the 7,389 yard core golf layout varies from undulating terrain to old growth forests to spectacular water holes, while gnarly-edged bunkers, imaginative green complexes, immaculate Zoysia fairways and large, rectangular bentgrass tee boxes add dimension and challenge. A true masterpiece designed to stand the test of time, The Dalhousie Golf Club is undoubtedly one of the best courses in the Midwest.


    Team (1st-place votes) Points
    1. Wichita State (9) 81
    2. Illinois State 70
    3. Missouri State 65
    4. Southern Illinois 51
    5. Northern Iowa 42
    6. Drake 35
    7. Evansville 28
    8. Creighton 21
    9. Bradley 12