Wildcat golf finished fifth in the Southland Conference Championship in McKinney Wednesday as the team concluded its spring season.
The ‘Cats improved three spots in the tournament from last year, their first spring season under head coach Tom Shaw.
“Overall, this is a very solid performance for this team,” Shaw said. “We beat some excellent golf teams in only our second year of Div. I.”
The scores were higher than they had been all year but were recorded under tougher conditions. The Stonebridge Ranch Country Club even forced Southland powerhouse and eventual champion Sam Houston State to shoot over par.
Senior Corbin Renner fought for control in all three rounds to shoot a 234 in his final tournament for the Wildcats. It was the first time all season Renner failed to finish as the team’s top golfer.
“The course was unlike anything else we had played this year,” Renner said. “It was the toughest setup I have played to this point.”
Renner is expected to graduate in December with a degree in communications and plans to play golf professionally. In his four years at ACU, he’s won three tournaments and is tied for second in school history for most career victories. The tournament was also senior Kaden Walters’ last.
“Its hard to put my career into words with all of the memories I have made,” Renner said. “I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to have played for this school.”
Freshman Clarke Hudgins stepped up to lead the team with a 225 and an 11th place finish. Junior Dillon Vaughn followed closely behind with 228, which was good enough to tie for 14th. Sophomore Kyle Karnei filled the fourth spot with a three-round total of 249.
The ‘Cats battled the weather throughout the entire tournament. A thunderstorm stopped play for five and a half hours on Tuesday and played part of the back nine on Wednesday in a drizzle. Still, the team finished its final round by improving three places.
“The future is bright for ACU golf,” Shaw said. “We’ll only get better over the next few years and hopefully add a Southland Conference title to the trophy case soon.”