Golf team takes 2nd

Valerie Melton

For the second week in a row, the Missouri Southern men’s golf team has found themselves in second place.

After placing second last week in the Missouri Southern Invitational at Loma Linda, the Lions followed up by tying for runner-up honors at the Central Regional Invitational held at Swope Memorial Golf Club in Kansas City on Monday and Tuesday.

“The conditions on Tuesday were miserable, head coach Kevin Greim said. “The weather was just frigid and it rained the last two or three hours were we’re there. Everyone had to battle. Our second place finish was a real team effort,”

The University of Missouri – Kansas City nabbed first place with a two-day team total of 570, Johnson County Community College and Southern trailed 13 strokes behind to share second place with a two-day team total of 583. Tournament host Central Missouri and Nebraska Wesleyan rounded out the top 5.

A second-round 70 helped Senior Tyler Goecker secure 4th place in the individual medalist competition.

“Tyler was really solid all tournament,” Greim said. “I don’t think he had a double bogey in either round. Swope is a shorter course with lots of opportunities for birdies and Tyler took advantage of that. I don’t think people understand how tough it is to play in the rain. It’s cold and you’re in more clothes and it just really messes with your swing, but Tyler played with real determination.”

Senior Eric Byers shared 9th place with a two-day total 145. Freshman Adam Nelson finished 17th with a two-day, 3 over par 147. Senior Tommy Clifford tied for 21st at 5 over par and Ben Perry finished 8 over par for the tournament with a 152.

“We’ve gotten better in every tournament this spring,” Greim said. “That’s the way you want to be doing it. Golf is such a game of confidence. If you are mentally and emotionally ready than anything is possible.”

The team has a new challenge ahead of them as they compete in the MIAA tournament at Branson Creek Country Club April 28-29. Unlike Swope, Branson Creek is much longer and boasts a tougher course layout.

“We haven’t gotten the chance to play the course much,” Greim said. “We went to South Carolina over Spring break while most of the other schools played the course. Our practice round is going to be critical for us to do well. We know that we’ve gotten better in every tournament this spring. That’s the way you want to be doing it.”