JONESBORO, Ark. (4/12/18) – Arkansas State sophomore Matthew Cole was named the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week Thursday, earning the honor for the second time of his career.
The latest recognition for Cole comes after he took medalist honors at the at the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate last week, turning in scores under par all three rounds to help lead the Red Wolves to the tournament title for the second straight season. A-State, the No. 61 ranked team in the nation, finished ahead of 13 teams and won the tourney by a 23-stroke margin.
Cole claimed the individual title at Arkansas State’s annual home tournament for the second straight year as well, shooting a season-best three-round score of 206 as he finished atop the 74-player field. The Fayetteville, Ark., native’s 54-hole total was 10-under par and included rounds of 66 and 71 on the first day, while he concluded the two-day outing with a 69 as he held off nationally-ranked Hunter Richardson of UT Martin for the championship.
Although Cole is the first A-State student-athlete this season to be tabbed the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week, he is one of three to receive the honor a combined five times under third-year head coach Mike Hagen.
Cole also won the award once last year as a redshirt freshman, and current sophomore Zan Luka Stirn claimed the award back-to-back in 2016-17. Now a senior, Tanner Napier was named the league’s golfer of the week once in 2015-16.
While A-State claimed its first tournament championship this season at the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate, the Red Wolves have finished no worse than runner-up in all five of its spring tournaments. A-State has also claimed a pair of runner-up finishes in the fall at the Memphis Intercollegiate and Bayou City Collegiate.
Arkansas State is set to compete this Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, at the Hawkeye Invitational, which is its last tournament before the Sun Belt Conference Championships that are scheduled for April 22-25.