MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Cumberland University men’s golf closed the NAIA Memphis Shootout strong today, moving up one spot to take second place on the final leaderboard.
The Phoenix carded their second-straight 292 of the tournament, overtaking conference foe, Lindsey Wilson, to finish with a 44 over par, 884. 12th-ranked Dalton State won the tournament, shooting an 858 over three rounds.
Cumberland’s effort during the tournament encouraged Coach Rich Williams, particularly the steady play of his top two, but he still sees much room for improvement.
”During the tournament, they had a knack for making the hard things look easy and the easy things look hard.” Continued Williams, “If they can start making the easy shots easily, the team is going to do great things this year.”
Out of the 100 man field, Phoenix golfers captured two spots in the top ten. Cumberland’s number one and two golfers moved up the leaderboard on the day, Adrian Steeger climbing one spot to finish fourth, and Isaac Walker moving up two for a sixth place finish.
Steeger started his final round shakily, scoring bogey and double bogey on his first two holes. An eagle on five and birdie on six pulled him back to even, but another double bogey saw him finish the front half of the course two over. Steeger roared back on the back nine, holing three birdies and one bogie to finish with an even par 70.
The freshman Walker played another steady round, shooting one under on the front nine off an eagle on five. Walker lost his chance at an under-par round on the final hole of the tournament, putting in for a double bogey. After a shaky round one, Walker earned his coaches praise for showing great poise in his first collegiate tournament, finishing in the top ten.
Bryson Smith finished the tournament tied for 18th. The junior sat at eight over par on the day after hole 13, but back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 pulled him back within three strokes of tying for 10th.
Jacob Nolen more than matched his birdie total from the other two rounds on the final day of the tournament, carding four. The senior completed the front nine at one-under par, before finishing the day with a five over, 75. He shot a 233 over the course of the tournament, good for 35th place.
Reece Gaddes checked in on the leaderboard at 51st, carding a 79 on the final day of the tournament. Gaddes closed the day on a strong note, birdying three of the final seven holes.
Men’s golf next heads to Bears Trace at Cumberland Mountain in Crossville, Tenn., for the Bryan College Invitational over September 23-24.
4. Adrian Steeger - 75-68-70=213
6. Isaac Walker - 77-69-71=217
t18. Bryson Smith - 71-77-76=224
t35. Jacob Nolen - 77-81-75=233
t51. Reece Gaddes - 80-78-79=237
1. Dalton State - 281-286-291=858
2. Cumberland - 300-292-292=884
3. William Carey U. - 298-298-291=887
4. Lindsey Wilson - 299-290-306=895
5. Holy Cross - 297-303-296=896
6. Columbia College - 302-307-301=910
7 Marian University - 311-304-302=917
8. Missouri Baptist - 307-305-313=925
9. Oklahoma Wesleyan U. - 297-310319=926
t10. St. Francis - 307-318-308=933
t10 Indiana U-Kokomo - 311-315-307=933
12. Taylor University - 311-313315=939
13. Martin Methodist - 317-318-307= 942
14. Aquinas College - 319-321-310=950
15. Sterling College - 327-322-309=958
16. Montreat College - 311-329-322=962
17. Governors State Univ. - 325-323-319=967
18. Brescia University - 328-318-330=976
19. Indiana U - South Bend - 341-337-333=1011