Lions golf finishes sixth at SLC Championships

The Lions entered the 49th annual Southland Conference Men’s Golf Championship at Stonebridge Ranch Country Club in Mckinney, Texas last Monday ranked No. 1 in the 10 team field. Head coach Tim Baldwin leads a team that, prior to the SLC championships, was ranked No. 58 nationally with the topped ranked golfer in the SLC in junior Phillip Westermann.
Despite being favorite in the SLC championships, the Lions finished sixth in the final standings on Wednesday and look to earn an at large bid for the NCAA Regionals, which takes place May 17-19. The Lions will be selected to one of six regions: Michigan; Oklahoma; Stanford, Calif.; North Carolina; Athens, Ga. and Bowling Green, Ohio.
“We’ve got a couple weeks to prepare,” said Baldwin. “I hope we can go there and represent well and get within striking distance of the finals.”
The Lions began the first round of play on Monday led by Westermann and fellow junior teammate Rhys West, who both shot 1-over-par 73. The Lions would finish the day tied for fifth place with UT-Arlington scoring a 299 on the day with Lamar leading after a day’s action with a score of 288.
“We played a very difficult golf course,” said Baldwin. “We’re young, we have three freshman in the line up. That probably played the biggest role, just being a young team”
The second round of action began on Tuesday, and the Lions found themselves in an uphill battle trailing Lamar, Central Arkansas, Texas State and Stephen F. Austin. The Lions were once again led by Westermann who shot 4-over-par 76, moving him up to 8th place in the individual ranks. The Lions recorded a score of 315 and slipped to 6th place in the SLC championship rankings with a day of action left.
In the final day of action, the Lions found themselves in an even bigger hole as they looked to climb into the top three slots. Despite Westermann earning an even-par 72 to finish tied for third place, the Lions still finished sixth. The Lions shot 304 in the final day of competition.