Lions finish second in home meet

Eric Byers walks to the 18th green during the MSSU Invitational Tourney.

Jesse Cordova

Eric Byers walks to the 18th green during the MSSU Invitational Tourney.

For the past 3 months the members of the men’s golf team have worked on perfecting their short game and course strategy in hopes of mastering Loma Linda Country Club, site of the 2007 Missouri Southern Spring Invitational.

But as they learned there are some things that can’t be practiced or planned for.

As gray skies loomed they, along with the rest of the field, battled 30 mile per hour winds and unexpected pin placements.

Washburn University, who hasn’t lost a conference event all season, shot a second- round 294 to rebound from a four shot deficit to capture first place while Southern fell to second place after a two day 602, just six strokes off the pace.

“We played very well, but Washburn’s Matt Ewald’s round of 67 today (Tuesday) was just fantastic considering the conditions,” said head coach Kevin Greim.

The Lion’s took advantage of their local course knowledge finishing 17 strokes ahead of Central Missouri who took third with a two day total of 619. While Winona State and Missouri Western tied for fourth at 623. Senior Tommy Clifford finished third overall with a 72 in round one for a two-day total of 147. Eric Byers and Tyler Goecker tied for fifth overall with a two-day total of 150. Adam Nelson was 28th with a 158 and Corey Clingan finished tied for 29th with a 159.

Unlike most other tournaments the team will compete in this year, Southern boasted having two teams on the course.

The Lion’s “B” team, after shaving 13 strokes off its day-one total of 325, finished eighth in the field.

“They took the tournament serious and performed well,” Greim said. “They proved that they could be competitive when it mattered. I’m really proud of them.”

The Lions will next play at Swope Memorial Country Club in Kansas City April 9-10, where they will be among a different field as Junior Colleges and NAIA schools will comprise most of the competition.

“We will really be concentrating on capitalizing on the shorter length of the course by utilizing our strengths in course management and short game,” Greim said.

Following play in Kansas City, the team will hopefully be among those playing in the regional tournament at Twin Hills Country Club here in Joplin.

“Beating Central this week really puts us in good shape and solidifies our position for regionals. We’re excited,” Greim said.