MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. (4/27/16) – One of four teams to advance to Wednesday’s match play format at the Sun Belt Conference Men’s Golf Championship, Arkansas State was eliminated from contention for the tournament title after falling to Troy in its initial matchup by a 3-1 score at the Raven Golf Club.
The Red Wolves completed stroke play yesterday with a combined 54-hole 855, claiming an official third-place finish for their best showing at the league championship since collecting runner-up honors in 1999. A-State also tied its second-best finish ever at the tourney, taking third place in 1995 as well.
Oswin Schlenkrich picked up A-State’s lone victory among the five pairings, defeating Cam Norman by two holes. Andrew Huseman’s match versus Troy’s Calum Masters was discontinued with three holes remaining in-play after the Trojans had secured the victory.
The Red Wolves’ Joel Wendin took his match versus Jared Bettcher all the way to the 18th hole before falling by a two-hole margin. Seth Garner and Tanner Napier both had their match ended just short of a full round after falling behind by three holes with one left to play.
“We’ve worked hard all year, and this tournament was no exception,” said A-State head coach Mike Hagen. “We played well and had great effort again this week. We prepared the right way and did a lot of good things, so I’ve got to give credit to Troy – they’re a good team that played just a little better than us today.”
Troy advanced to the championship match against Georgia State, which also won its semifinals outing against South Alabama, and went on to claim a 3-2 victory over the Panthers to earn the Sun Belt Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
A-State, which holds a 124-23-2 record, a No. 80 national ranking by GolfStat.com and a school-record five outright tournament titles, must now wait to see if it receives an at-large bid to an NCAA Regional. The NCAA Regional selections will be announced Thursday, May 5, on the Golf Channel.