Southern golfer top finisher at final fall tournament


Samantha Zoltanski/The Chart

Junior Ryan Buerk reads the green before he putts on day one of the Missouri Southern Invitational on April 15.

The Central Regional Invitational marked season’s end for the Lions Golf team. The team finished in seventh place and Senior Ryan Buerk won the tournament.

Missouri Western hosted the tournament in St. Joseph. A rain out on Monday, forced a full day to play 27 holes on Tuesday. As soon as its final member finished the round, the Southern team headed for home. Tournament play continued as other teams completed theirs rounds, which explains how the team learned of Buerk’s victory online.

The final score was a tie so, Buerk’s score went through the NCAA procedure for a tie-breaker (a coin flip), which he won.

“I was really just shocked more than anything to see my name up there on the top because I thought I would have a top five or top 10 finish,” said Buerk. “I played solid, but I didn’t think it was good enough to win. The guys that I was tied up there with were some of the top 10 to 15 players in the MIAA so it was nice to be up there with those guys.”

The spring season starts at Danville, Ark., for the Lions, at the David Falconer Classic hosted by Arkansas Tech., on March 9 and 10. There are some significant differences between the fall and spring play.

“It is a little different from the spring because it is cooler so the ball doesn’t fly as far, and the courses are usually dormant and the conditions are normally much tougher. It’s still golf and we still have to go perform,” said Junior Ethan Hutcheson.