Golden Suns first, Wonder Boys second at final golf match

Despite wind and rain causing a delayed start and a tournament condensed to 18 holes, the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns golf team earned a first-place overall finish at the Great American Conference Preview in Oklahoma City on Oct.14, as seniors Rebecka Surtevall and Megan Jeffery led the way by both tying for first overall individually.

“I thought they played really well in a very strong wind,” head coach Amy Anderson said. “I was really happy we had such low scores in tough conditions.”

Tech finished play with a 17-over 305 team total, 12 shots ahead of second-place Henderson State.

Surtevall and Jeffery matched one another with 1-over 73 finishes, two strokes ahead of the nearest individual score for the tournament.

Sophomore Caroline Fredensborg earned a fourth place tie individually overall with a 6-over 78 tally.

Tying for 12th overall, senior Taylor Kline shot a 9-over 81 for the tournament.

Sophomore Jessica Sachs tied for 35th individually, shooting a 16-over 88.

Fellow sophomore Laura Gallizo played unattached and shot a 7-over 79, finishing in a tie for sixth overall and placing five Tech golfers in the top 15 individual finishes.

Oct. 14 marked the final fall tournament for the Golden Suns, who finished in the top four of all five performances this fall, including two titles in the last two meets.

“Right now were going to take break for a second,” Anderson said. “Our first spring tournament will be near the end of February. We’re not allowed to practice golf wise as a team in the offseason, so we’ll start back at it in January with team practices. In the mean time they’re on their own, playing when they can and doing physical conditioning here in offseason together.”

The Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys golf team earned the low team score in the final round and finished second overall at Missouri Western’s Holiday Inn Express Classic at the St. Joseph Country Club during Oct. 13-14’s final fall Central Region Preview tournament.

“I feel good because that tournament was a regional invitational, and a lot of top teams in region were there,” head coach Luke Calcatera said. “If we can get second in that field, it proves we can advance through the spring season and make it to the national tournament.”

Tech totaled a 17-over 305 tally in a rain-delayed opening round but managed to best the field on the second and final day by lowering the shot total to an 8-over 296, giving the Wonder Boys a 601 tournament total to finish up four strokes behind first-place Central Missouri and one stroke ahead of third-place Northeastern State.

Tying for sixth overall, junior Brian Belz led Tech with a 3-over 147 two-day total, shooting a 3-over 75 in round one and an even-par 72 on the second day.

Senior Alex Mahlik tied for 12th overall individually with a 5-over 149 performance, as he added a stroke on day two, shooting a 2-over 74 and a 3-over 75 on respective days.

Sophomore Austin Smith tallied a 7-over 151 as he earned a tie for 18th place individually. Smith improved his game over the course of the tournament, going from a 5-over 77 on day one to a 2-over 74 in the final round.

Senior Jason Purdy finished tied for 33rd place overall with an 11-over 155 total, shooting a 7-over 79 and a 4-over 76 in the first and last rounds.

Freshman D.J. Godoy showed the most improvement of any Tech golfer in the tournament, shedding six shots off his first-day, 9-over 81 tally by shooting a 3-over 75 in the last round. Godoy tied for 41st individually with a 12-over 156 shot total.

In Tech’s four fall tournaments, the Wonder Boys have earned three top-four finishes. Five golfers have at least one top-10 finish, and Purdy and Mahlik each have one top-five finish.

“To be successful in the spring, we have got to have all five of our guys starting out and continuing to play well, rather than some tournaments we’ll have three guys play well and a couple struggle more,” Calcatera said. “We’ve improved a little bit each of the past three years. Compared to last fall I feel like this team is a little bit stronger.”

Coach Calcatera and the Wonder Boys will resume season play in the spring on the first weekend of March at the Las Vegas Desert Classic.