Daily Egyptian

Men’s golf closes Golfweek Conference Challenge with 11th place finish

Daily Egyptian file photo

Daily Egyptian file photo

By Nathan Dodd

SIU men’s golf traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to compete in the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Sept 17-19. The Salukis placed 11 of 15 in the three-day tournament at the Cedar Rapids Country Club.

The Saluki lineup began with sophomore golfer Sam Meek followed by juniors Hunter York and Luke Gannon. Junior Peyton Wilhoit and sophomore Frankie Thomas rounded out the SIU scorecard representing four and five, respectively.

Round 1 (Sept. 17)

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Thomas, the number five Saluki, got off to a strong start, scoring a par on his first four holes. The sophomore added five birdies to his score to finish the day with a 3-under-par 69, the lowest Saluki score of the entire tournament. Thomas’ score was good enough to earn a fifth-place tie in the individual standings

Close behind Thomas was fellow sophomore Sam Meek. Meek got off to a hot start as well, sinking three birdies in his first nine holes. He would add two more birdies to end the round shooting one stroke under par.

Completing the Saluki scorecard in round one were Gannon, Wilhoit and York posting scores of 76, 77 and 84, respectively. SIU captured an overall team score of 5-over-par 293, tied for 11th.

Round 2 (Sept. 18)

On day two, it was Thomas who once again lead the Saluki squad on the links. Thomas remained consisted throughout the round with three birdies and 13 pars. For the second day in a row, the sophomore was able to finish under par. Thomas shot a 1-under-par 71 which put him in a sixth-place tie on the individual leaderboard, in the running for a medal.

Gannon secured a four-stroke improvement from the previous day by shooting a 72, an 18-hole par. Four birdies played a vital role in Gannon’s turnaround in day two, helping offset two bogeys on his scorecard.

Wilhoit, York and Meek finished the second round posting scores of 75, 77 and 79, respectively. The score improvements from four of five Saluki golfers helped SIU move up to ninth in the leaderboard. On the day, SIU finished with a team score of 7-over-par 295.

Round 3 (Sept. 19)

After a one hour and 30-minute fog delay, SIU was ready to begin their third round of play.

It was Wilhoit on day three who topped the Saluki scorecard. The junior carded a 1-under-par 71 with three birdies and 13 pars.

Round three was the only round of the tournament that saw Thomas fail to break par. Coming into the round with a 4-under-par score, Thomas posted a 2-over-par 74 to complete the contest. Thomas finished in a tie for 12th place in the individual standings.

Finishing third, fourth and fifth for the Salukis were York, Gannon and Meek, respectively. York shot a 75, Gannon a 76 and Meek a 78 which earned the Salukis an 8-over-par score of 296.

Final Standings

SIU finished the three-day tournament with a total team score of 884, earning them 11th place.

North Carolina State went home with the title of the Golfweek Conference Challenge, shooting a combined team score of 847 in the three rounds.

Up Next

The Salukis travel to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to participate in the David Toms Intercollegiate tournament at the University Club Golf Course. The two-day tourney, hosted by Louisiana State University, will take place on Oct. 7 and 8.

Sports reporter Nathan Dodd can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @NathanMDodd.

To stay up to date with all your SIU sports news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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