SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Statesmen men's golf team battled tough conditions during the Evangel Fall Invitational Monday and Tuesday, hosted at Springfield CC. The first day was headlined by 25-40 mph winds and misty light rain. The second day's weather improved as the wind died down to a moderate breeze and the sun made its first appearance of the tournament.
Taking the team title was Evangel, shooting a team score of 604 (307-297), while Evangel's Jake Brown won the individual title at one-under 143. William Penn started off slow, shooting 323 Monday, but improved 17 strokes to 306 Tuesday for a fifth-place finish at 629. The second round also created a new team season-low 18-hole score.
Leading the charge for the Statesmen was Spencer Tucker (Sr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Sports Management) who carded a two-round total of 146 (74-72) to tie for third. Tucker tallied four birdies, four bogeys, and a double bogey in his 36 holes in only his second tournament of the season.
"I didn't hit the ball extremely well this week, but I found a way to make par when I needed to," Tucker said.
Next up for the navy and gold was Cameron Johnson (Jr., Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Business Management) who signed for a 156 (80-76) to tie for 13th, his highest finish of the season. Johnson only carded one birdie throughout the tournament, but limited his mistakes well as he only took one double bogey.
"I hit the first four greens in regulation, but missed the next five holes," Johnson said. "I hit my short shots well from around 20 yards and in and got up and down on all five of my missed greens in regulations during my first nine holes.”
Finishing behind Johnson was Jordan Lester (Grad., Lamoni, Iowa, Masters in Sport Management) who struggled in shooting 163 (84-79) to finish in a tie for 30th. Lester had issues on the greens and off the tee, as he took four penalty strokes off the tee, which doubles his season total.
"It took me a while to adjust to the slower green speeds and it threw me off," Lester said. "It was also difficult for me to see my lines as I stood over the ball, but I did keep my mental state in good shape which helped.”
Jonathan Jarvis (Jr., Burlington, Iowa, Business Management) was next to enter the clubhouse for the Statesmen as he finished at 164 (85-79) to tie for 33rd. Jarvis struggled striking the ball, missing greens in regulation, but limited his mistakes well. He also broke the 80s barrier for the first time in his college career.
"I am excited that I finally got over the mental hurdle and shot in the 70s,” Jarvis said. “It was a matter of time and what better time to do it than the last event of the semester.”
Corey Hicks (Fr., Lake City, Iowa, Mechanical Engineering) rounded out the varsity team in 39th at 168 (85-83). Hicks carded the first eagle for William Penn this season, holing out from 40 yards on the par-5 16th hole.
"For my first semester of college golf playing in a varsity spot, I am definitely not upset with how it went," Hicks said.
"The first day was definitely a mental test for the guys, one like we haven't seen this year," Head Coach Steve Tucker. "It was similar to the 2021 Heart of America Conference Championships, but with a little bit of rain mixed in. We ended this semester on a strong note and I'm excited for the spring season to start.”
Up Next: William Penn, which will start its offseason training soon, will resume playing next March.