A-State Men's Golf finishes season-opening tournament with best round

From Arkansas State University

Led by two players finishing among the top-25 individual leaders at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate, the Arkansas State men's golf team wrapped up its season-opening tournament Tuesday at the Hattiesburg Country Club with a final-round 285 to finish in 12th place among 15 teams with a combined 867.

The Red Wolves lowered their score each round, opening the two-day tournament Monday with a 295 before cutting eight strokes off that total in the second round. Today, two A-State players came in under par and another posted his lowest career round to help the Red Wolves finish with their best single-round score since their third tournament played last season.

"I was pleased with today, but we just got off to a poor start early in the tournament and put ourselves in a position where we just couldn't recover," said ASU head coach Steve Johnson. "We're obviously not real happy with the overall finish, but I saw a lot more good things than I did bad. This was a pretty good field at our first tournament, so now we'll come back and work to improve on our mistakes that were exposed and adjust our lineup, and I think we will be fine."

Leading the Red Wolves, senior Chris Pledger shot a combined 1-under 212 to finish tied for 19th place. He finished two rounds under par, including the second and third with a 69 and 70, respectively. Pledger collected his 11th career top-20 finish and his three-round total was the fourth lowest of his career.

Joining Pledger among the top 25 finisher's was freshman Christian Pitz, who shot an even-par 213 to end the tournament in 22nd place. Pitz began the competition with a 73 before carding a second-round 71 and a 2-under 69 for the final 18 holes. Pitz' final-round 69 was the lowest score of the day by an ASU player.

Wessel Zwiegers, competing in his first tournament since Oct. 26 of last year, followed Pledger and Pitz with a combined 220 to finish in 52nd place. Zwiegers shot a second-round 72 that was his best of the tournament, and he was consistent with a 74 for both the first and third rounds.

"Chris played very well and put in another solid performance, and it was great to see Christian finish in the top 25 at his first collegiate event," Johnson said. "I was also proud of the way Wessel persevered through all three rounds after coming back from the injuries he suffered in an automobile accident during last season."

Also competing for A-State, Matt Howton recorded a career-best 72 for the final round and finished tied for 57th place with a combined 222, which was also the lowest of his career. Chance Holden finished 80th with a combined 233 (80-76-77).

The Red Wolves return to action Sept. 19-20 at the UTA/Waterchase Invitational in Arlington, Texas.


Place, Name (RD 1-RD 2-RD 3--TOTAL)

12, Arkansas State (295-287-285--867)

T19, Chris Pledger (73-69-70--212)

22, Christian Pitz (73-71-69--213)

52, Wessel Zwiegers (74-72-74--220)

T57, Matt Howton (75-75-72--222)

80, Chance Holden (80-76-77--233)