It was cold and rainy in Jonesboro, Ark., but that did not stop the ACU golf team from continuing their hot play. The Wildcats participated in the Arkansas State University Red Wolf Invitation on Monday and Tuesday and finished tenth in the 21-team field.
Senior Corbin Renner led the Wildcat charge, finishing in sixth place and shooting 217. It was his best finish so far in the spring season. Junior Trey Sullivan overcame a rough start on Monday to hit 228. Freshman Kyle Karnei contributed in his first tournament of the semester, firing a 233. Freshman Robert Johnson, fresh off his best tournament, hit 235, and junior Kaden Walters scored a 237. The ACU team score totaled to 907.
The weather affected the entire tournament, but not more than it did on Monday when it delayed play for almost an hour. The ‘Cats bounced back from the stoppage to shoot better on their second round of 18.
After the first day of scoring, the ‘Cats found themselves tied for seventh, having shot 599. Arkansas State led the pack with Belmont, Nebraska Omaha and Illinois State keeping pace.
Arkansas State held on and won their own invitation with a team score of 862. The Red Wolves had three players finish in the top 10, but South Dakota State’s Hudson Carpenter took first place. His three-round score of 211 was only six strokes better than ACU’s Renner.
Renner hung around the leaders throughout Monday but could not close the gap on Tuesday. The Wildcat order did see shifts on that second day, however. Karnei ended Monday with the team’s highest score but finished Tuesday in third. Johnson struggled to find his rhythm after the first 18 holes and finished fourth on the team.
Still, the team as a whole has improved from a month ago. They have found more consistency and are competing at a higher level. Even with rain, low temperatures and solid opponents, the Wildcats grinded out a top-10 finish.
Belmont finished in second, followed by Illinois State, Nebraska Omaha and South Dakota State.
ACU will get a week off before preparing for conference. Coach Campbell will face some hard decisions in picking his five guys to travel with. The freshmen have clearly stepped up their play and the whole team is benefiting. With Renner and Cunningham consistently setting the pace and young guys eager to leave their mark, the ‘Cats will continue their success.