SIU finishes fall season in second place

By Gus Bode

The men’s golf team has been very demanding of itself this fall season. Going into every game and expecting to win has produced a record-breaking season for the Salukis.

Even when they finish a respectable second place as a team at the Shangri-La Shootout at Monkey Island, Okla. this weekend, they want more and know they can do better.

Though head coach Leroy Newton thought the team could do better, the Salukis were still able to finish second to Oklahoma City, the NAIA national champions for the past four years.


“We were tickled to death that we got second place and didn’t play particularly well,” Newton said. “Everyone thinks that we should have won the tournament.”

Oklahoma City went on to take their own tournament (297-285-299-882) on the final day with the Salukis just four shots behind in second place (290-295-301-886).

Sophomore Kyle Hosick finished as the top Dawg individually in fifth place (72-71-76-219) followed by sophomore Andrew Gwinup in eighth place (73-71-76-221). Junior Rodger Welch finished in 12th with senior Brian Norman in 23rd and junior Sean McNemar in 32nd.

Hosick said he was up and down and not as steady as he usually was in the past.

“I had a few bad breaks at the beginning and never really got anything going,” Hosick said. “I’ll take fifth place in a college tournament usually anytime.”

Hosick said that the team encountered some of the best competition it has seen this season.

“The competition was better than the last few tournaments other than the Southwest Missouri State Fall Invitational,” Hosick said. “There were some good teams that people probably don’t give enough credit to.”


Junior Andrew Gwinup said he was able to end on a high note and finish in the top 10 individually.

During the fall, he has been working on his short game and has started to get a little more confidence in his game.

“I was just able to keep myself in play and not make atrocious numbers and when I needed something to go my way,” Gwinup said. “It just seemed like I was a little more lucky than what I was before.”

Newton said over the fall season, the team has seen some great improvements, including their ability to hit the ball better.

Gwinup said over the past three years he has been on the golf team, he has never seen the team come together and bond as it has this fall.

“It just feels more like a team than it ever has to me before,” Gwinup said. “It felt more individual in the past but now I feel like I’m part of a team, and it’s great.”

Over the fall season, the Salukis broke the SIU team all-time low 18-hole (275), 36-hole (561) and 54-hole (855) scores at their first tournament of the season, the Harris Fall Invite.

Welch shot a career best 36-holes at the John Dallio Memorial Invitational with a 219 as well as his career best in one round of golf, shooting a 69. Gwinup also shot his career best at the tournament with a 71.

The team took first place at the John Dallio Memorial Invite and finished in the top five at every tournament they competed in this fall.

Individually, Hosick took first place at the Murray State Invite.

During the off-season the Salukis will lift weights and run at the Recreation Center to keep the momentum of the fall season going strong.

“We’re going to be ready to go right off the bat, Newton said. “It should be a great spring.”