JONESBORO, Ark. (4/23/16) – The Arkansas State men’s golf team has won five of its last eight tournaments and will take its best national ranking in 16 years into the Sun Belt Conference Championship, set for April 24-27 at the Raven Golf Club in Miramar Beach, Fla.
The Red Wolves will carry a 116-21-2 record into the conference tournament and hold a No. 82 national ranking by GolfStat.com, which is the program’s best since the 1999-2000 squad advanced to the NCAA Central Regional and ended the season at No. 65.
While A-State’s ranking is the fourth highest in the league behind Troy (No. 58), Georgia State (No. 63) and Georgia Southern (No. 80), its 288.59 team stroke average stands as the second best among the conference’s 11 teams. The 63-ranked Panthers average is slightly lower at 288.53 strokes per round.
A-State’s lineup in the tournament will feature five players with an individual stroke average among the top 20 golfers in the Sun Belt, making the Red Wolves the only team in the league to feature such a lineup. That lineup will include seniors Oswin Schlenkrich and Seth Garner, sophomores Andrew Huseman and Tanner Napier and freshman Joel Wendin.
The group helped lead A-State to five outright tournament championships, the most in school history, and at least a runner-up or better finish in eight of 11 outings. Those five championships are tied with Texas and Vanderbilt for the second most in the nation behind only Illinois’ six. Arkansas State, which is tied for the ninth most birdies in the nation with 512, also finished the final round of another tournament tied for first place before dropping a sudden-death playoff.
Huseman leads the Red Wolves with a 72.43 stroke average that ranks fifth in the SBC. He claimed medalist honors at the Grover Page Classic and placed runner-up at both the Bash at the Beach Invitational and A-State Fall Beach Classic.
Owning four top-10 finishes, including three of the last four tournaments, Napier has a 72.65 average that is ninth best in the conference. Named the Sun Belt Conference Golfer of the Month on March 2, he claimed first place at the Loyola Intercollegiate with a season-best 198 (18-under).
Schlenkrich is coming off his best finish of the season, a third-place showing at the ORU Shootout won by the Red Wolves. His 72.75 average ranks 12th in the conference and he has collected five top-10 finishes this season.
Wendin has placed among the top 20 players in eight of A-State’s 11 tournaments, including a season-best ninth at the Little Rock First Tee Classic. He posted his lowest three-round score of the season at the Sun Belt Conference Preview, shooting a 1-under 212 at the Raven Golf Club to tie for seventh place. Wendin has a 73.47 stroke average that ranks 18th in the league.
Along with Schlenkrich and Wendin, Garner is one of three A-State players to compete in every tournament this season for the Red Wolves. The four-year letterman is averaging 73.59 strokes per round, which is the 20th best in the SBC. He has six top-20 finishes to his credit, including a season-best third-place effort at the Loyola Intercollegiate.
A-State Men’s Golf Closes SBC Championship’s First Round in Fourth Place
MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. (4/24/16) – The Arkansas State men’s golf team began play Sunday at the Sun Belt Conference Championship, shooting a first-round 289 at the Raven Golf Club to put it in fourth place among 11 teams.
The Red Wolves had three players end the day among the top 20 individual leaders and are only one stroke out of second place, currently occupied by both Texas State and Troy. Georgia State is in first place after recording a 282.
Sophomore Tanner Napier shot a 2-under-par 69 to lead A-State. He is tied for fifth place with Archer Price of Georgia Southern and within four strokes of Georgia State’s J.J. Grey, who is leading the 55-player field.
Oswin Schlenkrich shot a 72 and is tied for 14th place after the tournament’s initial round. Fellow senior Seth Garner is tied for 17th place with a 73, while sophomore Andrew Huseman is tied for 32nd with a 75 and freshman Joel Wendin tied for 50th with a 79.
The Sun Belt Conference Championship continues tomorrow with the second round.
ARKANSAS STATE RESULTS
Place, Name (Round 1)
4, Arkansas State (289)
T5, Tanner Napier (69)
T14, Oswin Schlenkrich (72)
T17, Seth Garner (73)
T32, Andrew Huseman (75)
T50, Joel Wendin (79)