A furious finish filled with birdies helped the WKU Hilltopper Golf team secure a fourth-place showing Tuesday in the Memphis Intercollegiate.
The Hilltoppers shot a 2-over 290 total as a team for the second straight round, finishing with a 9-over 873 (293-290-290) in the 13-team field at the 7,235-yard Colonial Country Club.
WKU finished just one stroke out of third place and five strokes behind champion Middle Tennessee. It was the Hilltoppers’ third top-five performance in their last four regular-season tournaments dating back to last season.
“We came in here with two freshmen and just tried to give them some experience early on,” WKU head coach Phillip Hatchett said. “I thought today the conditions were much tougher. The wind shifted directions on us and got up 10-12 mph. It made some holes that were really easy yesterday pretty tough, so to be able to shift things around and still come out the way we did, I was really pleased.”
Junior Stuart Easton was one of three WKU golfers in the top 11 individually. The Scotland native tied for fifth with a 2-under total of 214 (72-69-73) – just three strokes off his career best.
Easton birdied his final three holes of the tournament, which was part of the trend for the Hilltoppers on Tuesday. After no player broke par on the front nine, WKU responded with a 5-under combined performance on the back nine.
“It was a really positive week for the team,” Easton said. “All of us played some really good golf, which is encouraging going forward. We know the areas we need to sharpen up in order to start winning, but it’s not going to take much.”
The team’s five participating golfers registered 14 combined birdies on the back nine after recording just four total birdies on the front side. Over the final five holes, WKU had 10 birdies.
Redshirt junior Billy Tom Sargent finished two strokes back in a tie for ninth with a 216 (70-72-74) tally. Sargent has finished 11th or better in each of WKU’s first two events of the season.
“It was really fun having myself and Billy Tom in contention for the individual title,” Easton said. “Although it wasn’t the final round both of us hoped for, the experience of being so close to the lead heading into the final round is only going to help us in the future.”
Freshman Crimson Callahan also found the top 15 in his second career event, tying for 11th with a 217 (73-73-71) total. Callahan’s 1-under 71 in Tuesday’s final round was WKU’s best score of the day.
Sophomore Tom Bevington continued to improve throughout the tournament, culminating with an even-par 72 on the final day. He was 3-under over his last nine holes and finished tied for 37th at 226 (78-76-72).
Freshman Chase Landrum tied for 58th in the first tournament of his college career with a 233 (79-77-77), also finishing strong with a 1-under 35 over his final nine holes.
Senior Bryant Evans finished with a 235 (74-79-82) total while competing as an individual.
WKU is back on the course for Wyoming’s Southern Dunes Intercollegiate on Oct. 14-15 in Maricopa, Ariz.
Memphis Intercollegiate Final Results
T5. Stuart Easton (72-69-73-214)
T9. Billy Tom Sargent (70-72-74-216)
T11. Crimson Callahan (73-73-71-217)
T37. Tom Bevington (78-76-72-226)
T58. Chase Landrum (79-77-77-233)
T64. Bryant Evans (74-79-82-235)
How to follow the Hilltoppers: For complete information on WKU Hilltopper Golf, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUMensGolf.
WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations