By Chandler Harris, Assistant Sports Editor
The golf team finished seventh at the Lone Star Conference Tournament on Tuesday at the Winstar Golf Course in Thackerville, Okla. Despite the seventh-place finish, the team still has a good chance of making it to the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament on May 4-6.
“As far as the way we played, we played,” head golf coach Mike Campbell said. “The course was pretty wide open, which means you can hit your drive anywhere, in the rough or fairway, and still be OK. We are better suited to play a course where you have to hit the ball off the tee box to play the ball up, meaning they could lift their ball, clean it and place it in a good lie. Campbell said this leveled the playing field and helped other schools more than the Wildcats.
“That was the way the course was; we did the best we could, and our scores weren’t too bad,” Campbell said. “I was a little disappointed in our place finishing. Because the weather was awesome, warm and not much wind, the scores were pretty low. We just didn’t make quite as many birdies as the other teams.”
The Wildcats finished with a composite score of 869, 44 shots back of Northeastern State which won the tournament with a score of 825. Central Oklahoma finished second with an 835, and Midwestern State finished third with an 840.
Cyril Bouniol fired the top score for the Wildcats, tying for 14th place with a 213 (68-74-71). Hilton Funk finished in 17th with a 214 (72-70-72) and Patrick Hanuer finished 33rd with a four-over 220 (74-73-73). Zach Sadau (73-74-75) and Jose Gutierrez (74-74-75) finished in 37th and 39th, respectively.
The official bids for the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament go out Friday, but Campbell is confident the Wildcats will receive an invite. Campbell plans to take the same five golfers to the regional tournament.
The tournament will be at The Meadows Golf Club at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Mich. The Wildcats played at The Meadows two years ago in the 2007 National Championship Tournament.
“We are excited about going back there,” Campbell said. “We know it is a difficult course, but it sets up well for us, so I think we have a good shot.”
The tournament will have 10 teams from both the South Central and Midwest regions. The top five finishers in the tournament will go on to the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament on May 19-22 in Blaine, Wash.