The Sam Houston State University men’s golf team took to the course Monday and Tuesday in the Bearkat Invitational at Walden in Montgomery.
Monday’s showing presented some great results. As a team, SHSU placed in second after day one. Posting scores of 285-287 (-4) on day one, the Bearkats sat two strokes back of the University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley who posted scores of 290-280 (-6) on day one.
With a 285 in the first round, the Bearkats had the lead going into round two by five strokes over UTRGV. However, a strong showing by the Roadrunners in round two with a score of 280, seven strokes better than SHSU in round two, UTRGV took the lead heading into the final day.
Senior Jake McCrory started the tournament tied for second and headed into the final day of competition with a decent lead. Being up four strokes after the first two rounds of competition, McCrory kept himself atop the leaderboard the entire tournament. After posting an opening round 70 (T-1), McCrory then posted a round two 67, which ultimately gave him the lead over UTRGV freshman Tennoshin Ogawa (-3) by four strokes.
Day two began at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday and ended with that same mindset as McCrory took home the individual title for the Bearkat Invitational at Walden with a final four-round score of -9. Jake posted a 70-67-70-207 in his three rounds of play to take the title. In second was fellow Bearkat sophomore William Holcombe with a score line of 71-72-68-211 to finish five under par.
The Kats have one more tournament before the Southland Conference Tournament April 23-25 in McKinney. SHSU looks to finish strong as they head into the Wyoming Cowboy Classic on Apr 09-10 in Phoenix.
Led by McCrory, the Bearkats have had a solid season, finishing all but one tournament in the Top 10 and even taking home a pair of titles home in the Sam Hall Intercollegiate and now the Bearkat Invitational at Walden. SHSU should be fully prepared to take on the Southland Conference Tournament with full force and contend to reach the NCAA tournament this year.
The women’s side, however, finished day one in opposite territory of the men’s side. Tied for 13th in team totals after the first two rounds of play at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, AZ, junior Jenna Phillips sat atop the Bearkat leaderboard with opening day scores of 72-73-145. Phillips was T-12 after day one was completed.
The first round was decent as the Bearkats shot a 297 in the first round. The second round, however, was where SHSU fell down the standings. Two rounds of over 80 by sophomore Tori Gatling (85) and sophomore Kari Bush (84) sent the Bearkats’ round two score to a 308, landing them in 13th.
Day two of the final tournament of the golf calendar before the Southland Conference Tournament in Montgomery was in fact the best day for the Bearkats. For the first time in the tournament, SHSU had a golfer shoot under 70. Sophomore Hanna Alberto shot a third round 68 to end her tournament with a score line of 73-74-68-215. Alberto’s totals were good enough to land her T-5 in the individual competition, the only Bearkat to break the Top 10 the entire weekend.
The Kats next tournament will be the Southland Conference Tournament on Apr 16-18 at Woodforest GC in Montgomery. Leading the way for the women’s side is Alberto, who has three tournament wins in the individual competition as well as four top five finishes.