ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (9/10/17) – Led by three players collecting top-25 individual finishes, the Arkansas State men’s golf team finished fourth among 16 teams at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate after shooting a final-round 298 Sunday that gave it a combined 886 total.
The Red Wolves, competing in their first tournament of the 2017-18 season, finished ahead of 12 teams, including fifth-place North Carolina State that was among three teams at the event which earned votes in the most recent Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Coaches Poll.
A-State finished just three strokes behind third-place UCF, while Kentucky claimed the title. The Knights and Wildcats also received votes in the top-25 poll.
A-State ended Friday’s opening round tied for second place after recording a 288, but dropped two spots to fourth yesterday while shooting a 300. The squad cut two strokes off that total today, but remained in fourth place.
“I thought this was a really good opening event for us,” said A-State head coach Mike Hagen. “We knew this tournament was going to feature a great field on a demanding course, and it played fast and firm. Our guys felt comfortable with the conditions early, and we got out to a good a good start. Even though we didn’t play our best yesterday, we were still within five strokes of the leader heading into today.
“We were able to put up the third best score of the entire field today, but Kentucky played really well and it would have taken a special round for us to catch them. I think to have three top-25 finishes and go out and play the way we did against a difficult field on this type of course shows we’re on the right track."
Joel Wendin was responsible for A-State’s top-finish, placing a career-best tied for fifth with a 218 (71-75-72). Dating back to last season, the junior standout has now posted a top-20 finish in seven of his last nine tournaments.
Sophomore Zan Luka Stirn, the 2016-17 Sun Belt Conference Freshman and Newcomer of the Year, ended the three-day tourney tied for 16th place. His 222 total included a first-round 70 that was the lowest single-round score by an A-State player at the tourney. He also shot a 74 and 78 for the second and third rounds, respectively.
Joining Stirn and Wendin among the top-25 finishers for the Red Wolves was senior Tanner Napier, who placed tied for 23rd with a combined 225. He began the tourney by shooting a 74 and followed with a 75 and 76 for the final two rounds.
Also competing for the Red Wolves, Trent Jones finished tied for 26th place with a 227 (73-82-72) and Andrew Huseman tied for 58th with a 235 (80-76-79).
Arkansas State will be back in action Sept. 18-19 at the Memphis Intercollegiate.
ARKANSAS STATE RESULTS
Place, Name (RD 1-RD 2-RD 3—Total)
4, Arkansas State (288-300-298—886)
T5, Joel Wendin (71-75-72—218)
T16, Zan Luka Stirn (70-74-78—222)
T23, Tanner Napier (74-75-76—225)
T26, Trent Jones (73-82-72—227)
T58, Andrew Huseman (80-76-79—235)