The Arkansas State men’s golf team shot a final-round 275, its lowest score since 2009, Tuesday at the Hattiesburg Country Club as it jumped from 13th to ninth place in the Sam Hall Intercollegiate final standings.
Not only did the Red Wolves record their lowest single-round score since 2009, it was also their second lowest in over a decade. A-State’s 275 was the second lowest score of the day among the 15-team field, and it helped the squad produce a combined three-round 865 that was its best at a non-home event since the 2011-12 season.
“I’m happy with the outcome because of today’s round,” said first-year A-State head coach Mike Hagen. “It was the second lowest round of the day behind only Southeastern Louisiana, and they were a top-50 team in the nation last year. Today’s round was very good from start to finish. I thought (today’s round) was going to tell us a lot about these guys after getting into a tough situation and seeing McNeese State kind of running away with the tournament, but I was proud of the way we responded with a nine-under par.”
The Red Wolves posted a first-round 289 that had them in eighth place, but dropped to 13th after recording a 301 for the following 18 holes. Competing in their first tournament of the 2015-16 season, A-State finished just three strokes behind eighth-place Sam Houston State and ahead of host-school Southern Mississippi, Middle Tennessee State, Rice, South Alabama, Louisiana-Monroe and Jackson State.
“If you look at the first and third rounds, we pretty much played with everybody except McNeese State,” said Hagen. “It proves that what we’ve been doing is working, and we’re going to continue to improve as long as we stick to and trust the process.”
The Red Wolves had four players post a score under par in the final round, including senior Oswin Schlenkrich with a career-best 67. Schlenkrich finished the tourney tied for 25th place with a combined 215 to pick up his third career top-25 finish. He also recorded 39 pars over the three rounds, which tied the second most among all players.
“Ossie has worked really hard, like all the guys have, and I knew he was capable of something like that,” Hagen said. “His four-under par 67 really helped this team. When you go out and you start working with double-digit-under-par numbers, you normally need someone to go out and shoot four or five under par, and he did that for us today.”
Following Schlenkrich, senior Seth Garner and junior Matt Loiacano tied for 29th place as both shot a 216. They each carded a two-under 69 for the final round, and Loiacano posted 15 birdies for the entire tournament that were the sixth most among all players.
True freshmen Joel Wendin and Cameron McRae finished tied for 43rd and 64th place, respectively. Wendin finished with a 219, including a personal-best 70 for the final round, and McRae with a 225. McRae’s best round also came on Tuesday with a one-over par 72.
“Cameron struggled yesterday with both his rounds and just couldn’t settle in,” Hagen said. “He got it back today, and that’s what matters. It was a learning process for him. Joel’s opening and third rounds were both good rounds. I think he felt like he threw away some shots, especially in that first round, and it kind of carried over into his second round. He bounced back today too though, so I was impressed with both of them.”
The Red Wolves return to action Sept. 21-22 at the Memphis Intercollegiate.
ARKANSAS STATE RESULTS
Place, Name (RD 1-RD 2-RD 3--TOTAL)
9, Arkansas State (289-301-275--865)
T25, Oswin Schlenkrich (76-72-67--215)
T29, Seth Garner (72-75-69--216)
T29, Matt Loiacano (69-78-69--216)
T43, Joel Wendin (72-77-70--219)
T64, Cameron McRae (76-77-72--225)