The SIU men’s golf team achieved a feat it hasn’t done in nearly four years.
The Salukis shot a final-round 2-over-par 290 Tuesday to win the Wasioto Winds Fall Kick-off Classic for their first tournament victory since 2004. SIU’s last tournament victory came at the John Dallio Memorial on Sept. 28, 2004.
That year, head coach Leroy Newton was named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year.
Newton said he was proud of how the golfers were able to help each other when they struggled.
“Everybody’s score counted,” Newton said. “When one would fall off somebody else would pick it up and that’s how we won this tournament.”
The Salukis, who entered the final day with a 10-stroke lead, held off tournament host Morehead State to secure the eight stroke victory.
The University of Tennessee-Martin, Northern Kentucky and Lipscomb rounded out the five team field.
Four SIU golfers finished among the top-20 in the field, including Blake Driskell, Todd Obergoenner, Phillip Collier and Patrick Scheil. Jordan Cox, who competed independently from the team, tied for fourth.
Obergoenner made the biggest improvement on the final day. He started the day tied for 25th place, but shot a final-round 68 to finish the tournament tied for eighth place. The final-round 68 puts Obergoenner in a fifth-place tie with Grant Goltz, Andrew Gwinup and Kyle Hosick, for best third round individual score.
Driskell finished in a tie for sixth place with a 2-over par for the tournament after entering the final round with sole possession of the top spot on the leader board.
He said even though the team picked up the tournament victory, there are still improvements to be made throughout the season.
“We didn’t play to what our potential is, but we were able to come out with the win and that feels really good,” Driskell said.
SIU looks to continue its strong start at the Jackson State University National Invitational Sept. 22 in Tunica, Miss.
Luis C. Medina can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 269 or [email protected]