Perry’s 66 earns title

Senior Ben Perry was named individual winner of the Kansas City Intercollegiate Tournament on Monday after a school-record of 66.

Special To The Chart

Senior Ben Perry was named individual winner of the Kansas City Intercollegiate Tournament on Monday after a school-record of 66.

Valerie Melton

Senior Ben Perry will take the rainy weather any time, thank you.

Perry’s 66 Monday at the Kansas City Intercollegiate was good enough for a Missouri Southern school record and a first-place finish.

The Lions also brought home the team title.

Rain cancelled the second and final round. Perry took the top honors by three strokes.

Smith tied for third after shooting two under in the first round of play.

Prior to the win in Kansas City, Lions’ Head Coach Kevin Greim, doing well at its last tournament put the team one point ahead of Missouri Western and one point behind Central Missouri in the MIAA standings.

“Placing second last week in St. Joseph put us in the final group of the regional tournament in Branson,” Greim said. “If we play well, we should be close to the top.”

The Lions began the season with a fifth-place finish at the East Central Invitational in Thackerville, Okla.

After a slow start Monday, the Lions rallied to post a final team score of 885 over the course of the tournament, falling just two strokes off third place.

Upon returning from Oklahoma, Perry, who had an individual fifth-place finish, was named MIAA Golfer of the Week. Perry, a senior, ended up seven strokes off the lead score and two under par for the tournament.

“David Eddy, sophomore, and Seve Smith, freshman, have been really solid this season,” Greim said. “They’ve given us something we haven’t had in a while – consistent top 10 finishes.”

“David is already All-Conference and Seve is close,” Greim said. “Ben had a great start to the spring and really helped us at St. Joseph. Adam Nelson, sophomore, has been a great contributor as well.

“He’s working on getting his swing to feel right. Corey Clingan, sophomore, has given us great numbers as well.”

Greim said camaraderie is important in a sport combining individual and team efforts.

“As a team, we’re a pretty confident bunch,” he said. “We’re staying pretty focused. We can’t get over-confident seeing as how we haven’t come in first but we’d like to deal that problem.”

While the season is short compared to other sports, the team has worked hard to pinpoint areas of improvement and correct them from week to week.

“The guys understand what it takes to be at the top and their games have gotten better accordingly,” Greim said. “They are a pretty motivated bunch. It’s these guys passion – they just love the game.”

Looking to future rounds, Greim is getting the team focused on conference and regionals. Conference is at Branson Creek, a tighter course requiring straight tee shots and a sharp short game.

Regionals are in Findlay, Ohio. With only one practice round, the Lions are going to have to learn as much a possible in a short amount of time.

“This year, our region decided to allow three teams to advance to nationals instead of just two,” Greim said. “It’s not an easy thing to do, but at least it gives us a better window.”

The Lions next scheduled event is the conference match on April 22-23 at Branson Creek.