Chance Holden ties for fifth to lead A-State in season-opening tourney

From Arkansas State University

Senior Chance Holden finished a career-best tied for fifth place to lead the Arkansas State men's golf team to a tie for 11th place at the Sam H. Hall Intercollegiate, which was the Red Wolves' first tournament of their 2013-14 season.

A-State's lineup, which included two true freshmen, a junior and a pair of seniors, completed the two-day tournament Tuesday at the Hattiesburg Country Club with a final-round 292.  The Red Wolves recorded a combined three-round score of 866 for their lowest total since posting an 864 at the Seminole Intercollegiate during the 2011-12 campaign.

ASU shot a first-round 295 on Monday, but came back to record a 279 for the second 18 holes and climb from 14th place into a tie for 11th.  The Red Wolves' second-round score was their lowest since shooting a 272 at the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate in 2009.

"We put up some low scores for the first tournament of the season, especially with two guys playing in their first collegiate event," said A-State head coach Steve Johnson.  "I was excited about the way Chance played and his top-five finish, so he is looking very strong heading into the rest of the season.  I thought we looked good overall for the first time out, but we need to be more consistent in certain areas such as our short-game."

Arkansas State finished tied with Rice and also ahead of Houston Baptist, Louisiana-Monroe and Jackson State at the tournament, won by Louisiana-Lafayette with an 837 score.  Mississippi State finished second, while South Alabama claimed third among the 15-team field.

Holden came in under par all three rounds, which included a 70 for the first and third rounds and a career-best 66 for the second 18 holes.  His second-round 66 was the lowest score by an A-State player since Chris Pledger shot a 65 at the USF Invitational during the 2011-12 season.  Holden's 206 total was the lowest since Lloyd du Preez, a former NCAA Regional qualifier for the Red Wolves, shot a 205 at the Sam H. Hall tournament during the 2009-10 season.

Matthew Loiacano and Landon Hearnes, both true freshmen, followed Holden by finishing tied for 51st and 65th place, respectively.  Loiacano carded a 72 in the second round for his lowest score of the tournament and compiled a combined 220.  Hearnes was just three strokes behind with a 223, which included a final-round 71.

Junior Alex Hewitt recorded a career-low 69 during the second round after opening play with a 75, but was hurt by an 80 on the final day of play.  He posted a combined 224 to finish tied for 73rd place.  Also competing for the Red Wolves, Easton Key finished tied for 80th place with a 228 total.

A-State will continue its 2013-14 season Sept. 15-16 at the D.A. Weibring Intercollegiate in Normal, Ill.


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

T11, Arkansas State (295-279-292--866)

T5, Chance Holden (70-66-70--206)

T51, Matthew Loiacano (74-72-74--220)

T65, Landon Hearnes (80-72-71--223)

T73, Alex Hewitt (75-69-80--224)

T80, Easton Key (76-75-77--228)