Daily Egyptian

Men’s golf ties for 14th in Desert Intercollegiate

By Nathan Dodd, Sport Editor

In a field that featured six teams ranked in the top 50 in the nation, the SIU men’s golf team tied for 14th with a combined team score of 890.

They Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate hosted 23 teams and featured No. 9 Texas Tech, No. 19 California, No. 21 UCLA, No. 26 Tennessee, No. 36 Kansas and No. 39 TCU.

“We saw teams this week that we probably won’t have the chance to see again all season,” head coach Justin Fetcho said. “Playing tough courses and strong fields will only make us stronger come April.”

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After the first round of golf, the Salukis were tied for seventh place with Kansas and UT Arlington. Each time shot a 4-over-par through the first 18 holes of competition.

With the first day complete, SIU held a one-stroke advantage over TCU and trailed UCLA and Tennessee by one and two strokes, respectively.

Junior Peyton Wilhoit led the field after the first day with an 8-under-par score of 66. He finished the tourney tied for tenth with a three-round score of 210 and posted 13 birdies.

Wilhoit’s 6-under-par score for the tournament was only eight strokes behind No. 9 Collin Morikawa of California and No. 16 Fredrik Nilehn of Texas Tech, who tied for the tournament victory. He also bested six golfers ranked in the top 100.

“Peyton had a great tournament; a top-10 finish with this kind of field is just another confidence builder for him,” Fetcho said. “I think he is starting to realize he can compete with anyone in college golf. This is just another event that shows he is a true competitor and isn’t afraid to play anyone.”

On the second day of competition, the Salukis slipped to 13th.

SIU eventually fell into a tie for 14th with Stephen F. Austin after the final day of the tourney.

Junior Luke Gannon tied for 71st with an 8-over-par 224. Senior Dirk Kuehler finished with a 14-over-par 230 with junior Hunter York close behind with a 16-over-par 232.

Rounding out the SIU scorecard was junior Dean Harpe with a 23-over-par 239.

“It’s tough to judge after one event in the spring, but I saw a lot of good things out there,” Fetcho said. “As much as we would love to play well every tournament, we also need to make sure we are learning and improving so we can play our best golf in April.”

Up next, the Salukis will return home to prepare for their next tournament at the Florida State Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee, Florida. The tournament is scheduled for Feb. 24-25.

Sports editor Nathan Dodd can be reached at [email protected]dailyegyptian.com 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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