ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — The Northeastern State men’s golf team landed in seventh position after Monday’s opening rounds of the Drury Inn Central Region Invitational, which is being held on the par-71, 6,582-yard St. Joseph Country Club.
The RiverHawks opened in 13th place after a first-round 306, but the team vaulted up the standings after shooting 291 in the second set of 18 holes. The two-round total of 29-over-par 597 has the team stationed three strokes behind Southwestern Oklahoma State (300-294, 594) and nine strokes back of No. 17-ranked Central Oklahoma (300-288, 588).
Henderson State leads the charge after carding identical rounds of 289. The team is at 10-over 578 and leads Nebraska-Kearney (289-290) by a single stroke. One more stroke back is first-round leader and No. 8-ranked Central Missouri (287-293), who is locked up with Arkansas Tech (291-289).
“We played in a hard cold rain near the end of the day, and the team rallied despite the tougher conditions,” NSU coach Scott Varner said. “The rule has always been that you can’t win a tournament in the first round, but you can certainly lose it. We shot ourselves in the foot with the first round, but I am happy that we bounced back as strong as we did. We just need to take it low tomorrow to see how much higher we can get.”
Sophomore Jackson Hess and freshman Marc Johnson lead the RiverHawks at 7-over 149. The two young members of the squad both shot 76-73 and are tied for 22nd.
Freshman Tate Williamson landed in at T-27 after carding an 8-over 150 (77-73). Junior Josh Strimple bounced back nicely after opening with an 82. He shot 72 in the second round and shares 53rd place at 12-over 154. Sophomore Brent Williamson is at 15-over 157 (77-80) and is tied for 66th.
Henderson State’s Matt Jennings leads the individual standings by six strokes with an 8-under 134 (67-67).
The tournament will pick back up with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. Tuesday.