After finishing the fall season in South Carolina with ten teams in Golfstats top-100 rankings, the golf team began its spring action with a fifth-place finish at the James S. Litz Memorial Tournament in San Antonio.
The field was comprised of 13 teams, and included Southland Conference opponents Incarnate Word and New Orleans and the No. 1 NAIA team in the nation in Oklahoma City University.
The Wildcats ended the tournament 23 shots off UIW’s winning score of a 15-over-par 867, as ACU carded a 38-over-par 890. OCU finished second, just two shots off UIW’s pace with a total score of 869.
Senior Kyle Karnei led the Wildcats’ efforts, as individually he finished 9-over-par at 222 and posted a even par 71 in his first round to finish tied for 18th. Fellow senior Ryan Beatty finished just one shot behind Karnei, and was followed by sophomore Garrett Glanton with 226 junior G.K. Morrison and freshman Bryce Dooley with 227. Senior Robert Johnson competed as an individual and scored a 23-over-par 236, despite shooting just 1-over-par in Monday’s first round.
New Orleans came in three spots and 16 strokes behind ACU with a team score of 906. Karnei said with the first tournament behind them and the opportunity to see other Southland Conference teams in action he feels confident about the spring season
“It’s really early and we saw a lot of good things, and some things we need to work on,” Karnei said. “But we are in a really good position for conference.”
ACU will head to Mobile, Alabama next Monday and Tuesday to compete in the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate hosted by South Alabama. The tournament is set to be played at Magnolia Grove Crossings, a par 72, 7,212 yard course.
The Wildcats will have their work cut out for them, as they will most likely face off against some the best SEC and ACC golf teams in the nation in Auburn and Wake Forest. Auburn won the tournament for a fourth consecutive year last year, posting a tournament record 26-under par.
The tournament will be played over the course of two days, with 36 holes played on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.