Men’s golf finishes season in eighth place

By Brandon Willingham

The Salukis ended their 2012 season in a loss Tuesday at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship tournament.

After three rounds of play both Monday and Tuesday, the SIU men’s golf team finished eighth of nine teams at the MVC Championship with a total of 926 points. The Salukis shot a final round Tuesday of 317, but it wasn’t enough for them to leave Hutchinson, Kan., with a MVC title in their possession. This final conference tournament gave men’s golf its second-consecutive eighth place finish.

Coach Leroy Newton said he and the players were not satisfied with the end results because the team competed well in other tournaments. Newton said he expected something better than an eighth place finish after the Salukis were projected by the MVC pre-conference polls to finish fifth overall.


“We’re certainly disappointed (with) how this turned out,” Newton said. “We had good tournaments all year, but we didn’t have good shots these last two days. The good season didn’t translate into a good last tournament.”

For the fifth consecutive season, the Wichita State Shockers won the MVC Championship title. The Shockers have finished in first or second place every year since 1996.

The Salukis didn’t leave the tournament empty-handed. Brandon Cauldwell led the team with a 232 point total, but junior golfer Jake Erickson was one of 10 individuals from the MVC teams who received All-Conference recognition. Erickson scored a total of 238 points during the tournament.

Erickson led the team in six tournaments this year and earned first-place finishes in two. Now, he is second in school history to win two tournaments in the same season, according to a Saluki scouting report.

Erickson also earned MVC Golfer of the Week honors three times this year, along with becoming the fourth player in SIU school history to have three weekly honors in a career.

In a Facebook post Tuesday, Erickson said he didn’t feel well during the morning of Tuesday’s tournament. He still continued to play through it.

Junior golfer Jeffrey Miller said Erickson deserves the honor he received because of his strong display of team leadership and overall commitment.


“He works just as hard as any of the other guys on the golf team, if not harder,” Miller said. “He works as a leader, too.”

Now that the 2012 season is over, four seniors — Joe Goelzhauser, Jared Harp, Jamie Stocks and Richie Williams — will not return in the 2013 fall season, but four of the Salukis top five scorers will remain.

Erickson said he looks forward to his senior year with his returning teammates.