Golf team starting season with depth

With two all-conference performers returning this fall, the Missouri Southern men’s golf team is eager to get started after capturing fourth place at the 2008 NCAA Division II Central Regional last season.

It won’t be easy, however.

The good news is, the Lions have added depth this fall to go along with several returning veterans.

“We’re a lot deeper than we have been in a number of years,” said head coach Kevin Greim, who begins his fifth year at the helm. “We have more guys who can compete with each other then we had in past.”

In the past, the Lions have had five or six golfers challenge for a spot in the top five, but the number is growing, Greim said.

Which ultimately means the total team score will drop with numerous experienced golfers competing this season.

“We’ve gotten the program to the point where we have competitive depth,” Greim said. “I think the days of us having to take (the top four scores of five) that are too high are over.”

The Lions return David Eddy, a 5-foot-11 junior from Carl Junction, and Seve Smith, a 6-2 sophomore from Webb City. Both earned all-conference honors last season.

“The next step is to see if we have enough guys who can really get down,” Greim said. “We have to get the scores at par or below par in order to compete with the best teams in the new region we’re playing in.”

Washburn, which has won the MIAA championship once again for the past two seasons, will be the team to beat this year.

“All five of their travelers made all-conference,” Greim said. “Central Missouri had two, they finished second, and we had two, we finished third. The more guys we get to the level of David and Seve, the better off we’re going to be.

“They have to sustain it and find a couple of other guys who can get there, too.”

Friday was the first day of qualifying for the Lions before they open the season at The Missouri Intercollegiate Sept. 2 at the Lake of the Ozarks. Greim said Smith and Eddy are the only two who have made the cut to make the trip.

“David and Seve will go to the first tournament,” Greim said. “We’re still trying to figure out who the other three will be. I think there are any number of guys who could fight for the other three spots.”