Men’s Golf Finishes Fourth At Fall’s First Event
BURLINGTON, Iowa – The Oregon State men’s golf team improved every day in its first tournament of the 2014-15 season, climbing from 10th place after the first round to finish in a tie for fourth at the three-day, 54-hole Golfweek’s Conference Challenge on Tuesday.
The Beavers shot a 2-over 290 in the final round after opening with a 13-over 301 and shooting a 6-over 294 on the second day to finish with a 21-over 885 at the par-72, 7,222-yard Spirit Hollow Golf Course. Oregon State finished in a tie for fourth place with Southeastern Louisiana, while LSU (15-under 849), SMU (4-under 860) and Iowa (10-over 874) rounded out the top three in the 12-team field.
Sophomore Conner Kumpula shot a career-best round on Tuesday, a 1-under 71, while senior Alex Franklin, junior Tyler Carlson and freshman Jonas Liebich each carded a 1-over 73 to make up the Beavers’ final score that helped them move three spots up the leaderboard.
Kumpula, Carlson and Liebich all improved their scores each of the three days, and the Beavers will need that kind of play this season as they try to replace David Fink, one of the best golfers in Oregon State history.
|T9||Alex Franklin (5)||73||72||73||218|
|26||Conner Kumpula (1)||78||74||71||223|
|T27||Jonas Liebich (2)||76||75||73||224|
|T29||Kevin Murphy (4)||74||73||78||225|
|T40||Tyler Carlson (3)||79||76||73||228|
“An unbelievably big round by Tyler today, and it was great to see Jonas and Conner fight back and play so well,” Oregon State head coach Jon Reehoorn said. “Taking great pride in what we do every day is our number one principle. If we can get guys to step up when Kevin Murphy or Alex Franklin have bad days, it will be huge to our success this season.
“Overall, we have a lot to improve,” Reehoorn added. “We definitely have some things to build on, but we’ve got to focus on continuing to improve each day.”
Kumpula, in his second season from Albany, Ore., fired the first sub-par round of his collegiate career, which included five birdies, two bogeys and a double, to vault nine spots up the leaderboard into sole 26th place with a 7-over 78-74-71--223. The 1-under 71 bettered the even-par 71 he shot as an individual at the Husky Invitational last fall.
Franklin, a senior from San Rafael, Calif., posted the third top-10 finish in his two years at Oregon State, relying on his steady play that included a team-best nine birdies over the three rounds to finish with a 2-over 73-72-73--218 for a tie for ninth place. His best career finish in the Orange and Black was sole seventh at last fall’s Mark Simpson Invitational.
Liebich, who made his collegiate debut this week, also improved each day as he finished in a tie for 27th place with an 8-over 76-75-73--224. The Ingolstadt, Germany native bogeyed his first four holes of the day before rallying to shoot 3 under the rest of the round for a solid, and career best, 1-over 73.
Carlson had two birdies for the third straight day but stayed away from the big numbers that haunted him in the first two rounds, as he posted a 1-over 73, the first time in the tournament he had a number that counted for the team score. The native of Clarkston, Wash., finished the tourney in a tie for 40th place with a 12-over 79-76-73--228.
Sophomore Kevin Murphy slipped a bit in the final round but had seven birdies over the three rounds to equal the second most on the team and finish in a tie for 29th place with a 9-over 74-73-78--225.
Stewart Jolly of LSU went coast-to-coast to claim medalist honors with a 9-under 67-66-74--207, while the Tigers’ Eric Ricard finished second with a 5-under 211 and Cody Blick of San Jose State was third with a 4-under 212.
The Beavers get five days off before returning to action at the Husky Invitational in Bremerton, Wash., on Monday, Sept. 22 and Tuesday, Sept. 23.