Southern golf team shoots for top spot in final tournament

Current+senior%2C+Ryan+Russel%2C+puts+during+the+Missouri+Southern+Invitational+at+Twin+Hills+Golf+and+Country+Club+in+Joplin%2C+Mo.+on+April+15+and+16.

Samantha Zoltanski

Current senior, Ryan Russel, puts during the Missouri Southern Invitational at Twin Hills Golf and Country Club in Joplin, Mo. on April 15 and 16.

Ian Taylor, Sports Writer

As the fall portion of the golf season nears the end, Southern looks toward the future. With solid performances coming from faces both expected and surprising, the Lions look to continue moving their way up the leaderboard.

The Lions will have one more opportunity to do so before the teams break in action, as they travel to the Arkansas-Monticello Fall Classic at The Greens at North Hills Oct. 21-22.

With guidance from junior Ryan Buerk and seniors Andrew Maier and Ryan Russell, the Lions’ young team continues to work and, much like last season, have the potential to improve throughout the year.

“We’re gonna work hard over the winter break, and try to start fast in the spring since it is the championship season,” Maier said.

Following finishes of 11th, 9th, 5th, and 9th the Lions ready for one more tournament before an extended mid-season break.  They are waiting for the calendar to turn its way to March 10 for the David Falconer Golf Classic in Danville, Ark., a date that marks the beginning of the second portion of the season.  To some on the team, like Buerk and freshman Taylor Lansford, the break may not be such a welcome occurrence.

After placing fourth individually on Oct. 1, in the 2013 Texoma Championship at Chicksaw Pointe Golf Resort in Kingston, Okl., Buerk was named the MIAA Men’s Golfer of the Week.  His performance saw the junior shoot the low round of the tournament at a two-under 70, and ultimately finish off the weekend with a 226 shot total.

Not to be outdone, Lansford followed this week with outstanding play of his own at the Central Missouri Invite in Warrensburg, Mo., shooting a two-under 69 to open the tournament, besting all other Lions on the day.  Lansford went on to finish in a tie for 16th with a 220 shot total.

Having an extended break in the middle of a season can be a difficult issue to deal with, but as the Lions close the first chapter of the 2013 campaign, they will undoubtedly look to finish this year’s book with a bang.

And as Southern gets set to play the final tournament of this half, they have only one thing on their collective minds.

Maier described it as such: “We are definitely looking to finish with that W.”