Men’s golf takes silver at Murray State Invitational

The Tennessee Tech men’s golf team continued its solid play to bring home a second place finish at the Murray State Invitational last week.

            The action started off Monday morning with the teams playing 36 holes.

After the first 18 holes, five out of the six Golden Eagles playing in the tournament were in the top 10 on the leaderboard, and the team had a score of 293 to be ranked in third place. The Golden Eagles had a score of 285 to finish the second round of the day, giving the team a combined score of 578 for the first two rounds and moving up to second place on the leaderboard.

Senior Bryce Kendrick played a big role in Tech’s success on the first day. His score of 74-69 – 143 found him tied for third place on the individual leaderboard. Kendrick’s second round score of 69 tied for the tournament’s lowest round for the first 36 holes.

Going into the final round, Tech found itself six strokes behind leader Murray State and seven strokes ahead of Wright State in third place.

Kendrick delivered again on the second day of action. His score of 73 gave him a combined score of 216 for the three rounds. He finished the tournament tied for fourth place, and his play was good enough to earn him his first All-Tournament award.

“It felt really good to finally put three good rounds together and get my first top five and All-Tournament finish,” Kendrick said. “I've been close before but hadn't broken through, so now hopefully I can add a few more and maybe get a win.”

Head coach Polk Brown was also pleased with Kendrick’s performance.

“(I’m) proud of the way Bryce played this past week,” Brown said. “He gave himself, along with the team, an excellent opportunity to win, and I believe he will take a lot of positives from the experience.”

Following one stroke behind Kendrick was senior Adam Cunningham. His scores of 76-70-71 – 217 had him tied for seventh place.

            Senior Mitch Thomas and sophomore A.J. Wilkerson both shot a score of 73 each round, giving them a final combined score of 219 each. They finished the tournament tied for 10th place, giving the Golden Eagles four players in the top 10.

Brown said he is happy with the team’s second place finish but knows changes need to be made to take it to the next level.

 “There is certainly room for some improvement out of the event from Murray, especially around and on the greens,” Brown said. “Although we finished second, we certainly believed we could come away with the victory. It is back to the grind these next few days as we get ready for SIUE.”

Kendrick is also looking ahead to the next tournament.

“We are mixing up the lineup a little this week and expecting good things,” Kendrick said. “There will be seven OVC teams there, and our goal will be to beat all the OVC teams and win the tournament.”

The Golden Eagles are currently in Madison, Illinois, concluding the two-day Derek Dolenc Invitational at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville for the first time. The next tournament on the schedule is the Kenny Perry Invitational in Bowling Green, Kentucky Oct. 12 and 13.