Tale of two tee-offs at David Toms Intercollegiate

Junior Bailey Smith was placed 65th at the David Toms Intercollegiate with 19-over 163 following a final round 83. Courtesy of Sports Information

The Lions golf team started the David Toms Intercollegiate in third place after the first round but dropped to finishing in a tie for eighth place in the last day of the tournament, which is their best finish so far this season.

Golf Head Coach Jake Narro was proud of the way the team performed in the first round, but disappointed in the way the second round turned out. He had previously stressed the importance of finishing off rounds and tournaments on a strong note.

“They were Jekyll and Hyde,” said Narro. “We were really good in the first round. They did everything right, and certainly I was happy with the performance. Unfortunately, we had a weather delay so we didn’t tee-off at the right time and then rained a little while we were playing, and we never got off to a good rhythm. Even though these are our excuses, they did affect us for sure. We are definitely kind of disappointed.”

Due to the incoming Hurricane Nate, the schedule of the two-day tournament in Baton Rouge was changed to that Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. However, some rain interrupted the tournament and possibly threw the Lions off their game and a chance to finish in a better place.

“We warmed and got ready to start, but then it rained so we had a two hour and 45-minute delay,” said Narro. “So then, we had to start all over again. It was like you are at the starting gate but you never have the gun go off to start. So, the anticipation and the adrenaline that we wanted to use on the second day got totally wasted.”

Narro does not want to give the Lions too many excuses for their performance in the tournament. He felt the team could have handled the situation better.

“Everybody else had to deal with the weather as well, and I don’t want to blame it all on the weather,” said Narro. “Sometimes you just don’t handle things the way that you should, and that was us in this tournament.”

The Lions shot 22-over par 310 for the tournament. Freshman Logan Kuehn finished with his career-best performance 7-over 151 tying for 29th place. Junior Joris Etlin, who has been leading the team this season with his performances, also tied for 29th place finishing with 3-over 75 and shooting a 151. Etlin led the team with seven birdies over the last two rounds.

Junior William Meyers tied for 32nd place shooting for 80 at 8-over 152. Meyers also got the first eagle of the season for the team at par-5 17th. Freshman Kristofer Kerr had the best finish of his season tying for 39th place and a 10-over 154. Junior Bailey Smith finished in a three-way-tie for 65th place at 19-over 63.

Meyers tries to be a leader and show his younger teammates how to handle pressure situations, like the one that happened at the David Toms Intercollegiate.

“Team-wise I know me, Joris and Bailey try to keep the team up and lead the freshmen to getting over any nerves or pregame jitters,” said Meyers. “We knew that the weather could be off and on all day. But, we handled it pretty well. I felt like we played pretty good.” 

Narro knows how good the team can be and hopes the team can replicate some of the plays they had at the first round more consistently.

“We have already targeted what we need to work on, and we have worked on it,” said Narro. “In the first round, it showed. So, we need to just continue to work on the things we have been working on and just get a little bit better at them for the next one. We showed what we are capable of now. We just need to show it a little more often.”

The Lions’ will play at the Duck Commander Intercollegiate from Oct. 29-31 next, which is hosted by University of Louisiana-Monroe at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Ark.