Alumni to tee it up this weekend

On Monday, the Missouri Southern golf team will travel to St. Joseph to compete in the Missouri Western Invite.

Before they can leave, though, the Lions will have a busy weekend in Joplin.

Tonight and tomorrow, the team will host the first ever Missouri Southern Alumni Golf Tournament.

The event will begin with a mixer this evening, followed by 18 holes and a short banquet tomorrow afternoon.

“These guys spend these three or four years together, then, you know, they don’t see each other,” Head Coach Mike Wheeler said.

“So the idea is to give them a weekend to come back, play a little golf together, hang out, get to meet some of the current members of the team.”

On top of that, Wheeler plans to use the event as a fundraiser of sorts for his program.

He hopes the event will be successful enough to add another 25 to 30 percent to his team’s budget.

About 40 players formerly connected to the team or members of the alumni association will be playing in the event including a few parents of current Lion golfers.

Most of the golfers participating this weekend are still in the Joplin area, but Wheeler hopes the tournament can grow next year and in the future.

“I do have a lot of guys that said, ‘Coach, you do this again next year, I’ll definitely be there,’” Wheeler said.

The two-man scramble event was originally scheduled to take place three weeks ago. Weather concerns pushed it back.

The tournament is scheduled to begin with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Twin Hills Country Club in Joplin.