Oct. 21, 2013
CHOUDRANT, La. - Louisiana Tech made a six-stroke improvement in between Monday’s two rounds and finished the day in third place with a 6-over-par 582 at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate at Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant.
Overall, Louisiana Tech is two shots back of Southeastern Louisiana and 11 shots back of tournament leader Southern Miss. The Bulldogs have a one stroke lead over Missouri State in a crowded middle of the field where six shots separate six teams.
Missouri State follows LA Tech in fourth place with a 7-over-par 583 while McNeese State is in fifth, shooting 8-over-par 584.
“I think we definitely left shots on the course today,” said head coach Jeff Parks. “Very cliché to say but that’s what we did. Some of it was due to mental errors. In fact that was probably the majority of it. We took some high numbers on some holes that we didn’t need to … that’s managing the game. I feel like we have a really, really good chance of winning the golf tournament tomorrow, especially with how the guys have been playing up to this point. I think we can have a special day tomorrow and have a chance to come out on top. Being 11 back is not how we had it drawn up but it’s possible to make up.”
Senior Travis Wilmore led the Bulldogs through two rounds with a 1-over-par score of 145 (70-75=145) and is tied for 14th place with four other golfers entering the final round. His 75 in the second round was aided by an eagle on the par-5 hole No. 9.
Sophomore Victor Lange started slow with a 4-over-par 76 in the first round but rebounded in the afternoon with a 2-under-par 70, marking his day at 2-over-par (76-70-146). Senior Jack Lempke follows Lange by one stroke as he finished the day 3-over-par (74-73=147).
Chuck Spears finished the day in 28th place after shooting a 5-over-par 149 (77-72=149). His second round park score of 72 was bumped by a pair of eagles on the front nine.
“If we don’t play our best tomorrow or have a good round there are lots of teams within striking distance of us,” explained Parks. “In our [team] meeting, we discussed that we need to be patient and play Squire Creek the way we know how to play it. Hopefully, the putts will drop and we can go low like Southern Miss did today. USM played lights out. They probably had one of their best rounds in some time. That is excellent golf anywhere, but especially at Squire Creek.”
In fact, the second round team score of 278 (10-under-par) that Southern Miss shot ties for the second-best team round in the tournament’s history matching the 278 that Southern Miss shot in the 2008 tournament, then known as the Squire Creek Invitational. That 10-under-par score in 2008 also came in the second round. The tournament record team score also came in the second round of 2008 when New Orleans shot 13-under-par 275 as a team.
The Golden Eagles 10-under-par score was propelled by the 6-under-par 66 that Drew Kirby shot for the Golden Eagles, a mark that ties for the fourth-best round in the tournament’s history.
“We didn’t have anyone play extremely bad or extremely good for us,” Parks said. “We played mediocre golf today and tomorrow we are going to have to play great. It shows you in my eyes where we are getting to as a program. Mediocre golf is in the top three. We still have one more round to go but we know we can do better. That’s the plan for tomorrow.”
Monday’s action included 36 holes in two rounds of action and will be followed by a final round of 18 holes beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning. Sitting in third place, LA Tech will be paired up with tournament leader Southern Miss and second-place Southeastern Louisiana for the final round of action.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Golf, please follow @LATechGolf on Twitter or visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com.