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    Oct. 16, 2005

    By Matt Crouch

    CARBONDALE, Ill. - After taking a week off following its trip to the Joe Agee Invitational in Virginia, the SIU men's golf team returns to action this week at the Missouri State / Rivercut Invitational.

    Hosted by Missouri State University, the Missouri State / Rivercut Invitational is a 54-hole tournament set to take place at Rivercut Golf Course in Springfield, Mo. The par-72 course will play at 7,066 yards during the event.

    The Salukis are no stranger to this event as the team finished fourth last year. This year's senior co-captains Sean McNemar and Roger Welch should be comfortable with the course as Welch finished tied for eighth in 2004 with McNemar coming in tied for 14th.

    Regulars McNemar, Welch, Daniel Tomlin and Mark Schmitz will make the trip to Springfield this week, as well as some new faces. Senior Chad Cooper is slated to play in his first event of the fall season with Braxton Weaver making his second appearance.

    "I'm trying to use this fall season to determine how we want to get the spring season started," said SIU Head Coach Leroy Newton. "We want to see who the best five kids are."

    The tournament could prove to be a preview of what the MVC Tournament will be like in the spring as five other Valley schools are competing in the event, including 2005 MVC champion Illinois State.

    Other MVC school competing this week are Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Creighton and Bradley.

    Even though the team is not focusing on conference competition at this point in the season, it is nice to see how the team measures up.

    "We like to see how we stand with other schools in the MVC," said Newton. "Deep down, we like to know what the competition is going to be like in the conference.

    Several other schools from the state and region are competing in the 12-team event. Missouri-Kansas City, UT Martin, Murray State, Oklahoma City, Western Illinois and Eastern Illinois will all be in attendance.

    Play in the 54-hole event begins Monday, Oct. 17 with an 8 a.m. shotgun. The tournament concludes Tuesday with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun.