Men's Golf Picked For Third at Valley Tournament
The Missouri State men's golf team has been picked to finish third at next week's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championship in a pre-tournament poll of the league's coaches. The tournament will be held Monday-Tuesday (Apr. 26-27) at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., with the winner advancing to NCAA Regionals.
The 54-hole tournament will begin with an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start for Monday's 36 holes and an 8:00 a.m. start for Tuesday's final round. Prairie Dunes is a par 70, 6598-yard layout that is annually ranked among the top courses in America. In the past, it has played host to a U.S. Senior Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Women's Amateur and Curtis Cup matches.
Defending champion Wichita State is the heavy favorite to win its third straight title, garnering 80 points and eight first-place votes. Illinois State is the choice for second with 73 points and the other first-place tally. The Bears are next with 55 points, while Drake is next with 52 points and UNI had 48. Evansville is sixth with 35 points, followed by Southern Illinois at 33, Creighton with 20 and Bradley with nine points.
The Bears have three players ranked in the top 13 in the league, led by sophomore Will Hogan, who'll also be a contender for MVC Newcomer of the Year honors after his move from Missouri. Hogan has a 74.5 scoring average and has posted five top-10 finishes this season. Junior Jack Courington has a 75.3 scoring mark and is ranked sixth in the Valley, while senior Jay McBride is ranked 13th and carries a 75.1 average.
The Bears, who finished fourth at last year's tournament, will be looking to capture their second MVC title and first since 1993. Interested fans can follow the action live on the internet at http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=1703.