Off course: Red Wolves finish 13th at Rice Intercollegiate

By Ashley Parnell
On February 20, 2014

The men’s golf schedule began Monday at the Rice Intercollegiate competition, where the men would start off the first two rounds of the three round tournament in 13th place with a combined 616 shot.
The tournament, which took place at the Westwood Golf Club in Houston, Texas. continued Tuesday with A-State turning in its best round of the event, shooting 304 in the final-round, with all three rounds adding up to a total score of 920.

The Red Wolves managed to climb up one more spot to 12th in the tournament’s final standings.

At 12th place out of 15 schools, A-State finished right behind former conference opponent Florida Atlantic.

Texas-San Antonio and Sam Houston State lead the way, with a first and second place finish respectively. UTSA’s total of 875 and SHSU’s 878 was more than enough to lead the 15-team field.

A-State managed to lower their score with each round, opening with a 309, a 307 and finishing off with their lowest round at 304.

Senior Easton Key had an excellent showing and recorded a personal and team best 74 on day three.

Senior Chance Holden led the way with the best finish of the tournament by an A-State player for the Red Wolves and took a tie for 36th place with a combined 229 and a final-round 78.

Sophomore Seth Garner posted a 77 for both rounds Monday before closing with a 76 on Tuesday. He finished tied for 41st place.

A-State’s freshman Matthew Loiacano finished tied for 50th (75-81-76—232). Key tied for 63rd with a 234 (78-82-74—234) and junior Christian Helmbold tied for 76th with a 238 (81-77-80--238).

Junior Alex Hewitt participated as an individual and ended the tournament tied for 63rd place with a 234 (77-78-79—234). A-State’s team totals concluded with (309-307-304—920).

Coach Stephen Johnson was not concerned with the less than stellar finish.

“Considering we haven’t been able to practice until this previous Thursday (Feb. 13th) due to the weather, I thought they played OK,” he said.

“Obviously there was a lot of rust but they should continue to improve.”

Loiacano echoed his coach’s opinion, and expressed his confidence in the team. “I feel like we had an OK tournament, the weather here in Jonesboro has prevented us from getting any kind of practice in so this tournament was really our first time to play this year and we had a lot of rust and have a lot of work to do. We took a lot of positives out of this tournament and we will build on them in the upcoming weeks,but I have high hopes for the rest of the spring season and believe we have a good shot at winning conference.”

Last season was fairly successful for the team in particular, and Holden has been one of the main reasons for that.
Holden has been a strong leader for the Red Wolves golf team and at the Fall Beach Classic last November he shot a 215, including a low of 69, and placed fifth to lead the Red Wolves.

Holden’s statistics from last season include an individual stoke average of 72.6, having the best percentage of the team.

The Red Wolves continue their spring season March 4-5 at the Argent Classic, hosted by Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La.

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