SAN ANTONIO — The Lee men's golf team battled to the end in the San Antonio Shootout, but came up two shots short in its quest to capture its first tournament of the season.
St. Edward's University out of Texas finished with a 54-hole total of 895 (295 on Tuesday) to edge the second-place Flames. Lee posted an 897 total (297 on Tuesday) to defeat Central Oklahoma (905), Midwestern State (905), and host Oklahoma Christian (906). Fifteen teams took part in the two-day event played at the TPC San Antonio and TPC San Antonio Canyons courses.
Mike Hearne of Southern Nazarene fired a 2-under par 214 and captured medalist honors. Colton Kowalick of Midwestern State was second (217). Dillon Van Essen of St. Edwards was third (220), while Lee's Matt Emery and Hunter Vest tied for fourth and made the all-tourney squad with 221 totals. Emery carded a 75 on Tuesday and Vest recorded a 74. "Matt and Hunter both left some shots out there, but a top five individual finish in this field is pretty strong. It was a good showing for them," commented coach John Maupin.
Lee freshman Shea Sylvester turned in one of the best rounds of the day on Tuesday, finishing with a 72 and tied for 12th with a 227. Taylor Davis salvaged a 76 and tied for 27th at 230, while Peyton Sliger was tied for 38th with a 77 and a 233 total. "I was also really proud of Shea today, he got off to a rough start, but battled all the way back to finish at even par, and low round of the day for our team; that showed a lot of guts," Maupin added.
"It definitely stings to lose such a close contest, but St. Edward’s is a good team and they just played a bit better than we did today," said Maupin. "I wish we could have gotten off to a stronger start. It just seemed like we were fighting from behind all day. I was pleased with the way we closed and I'm proud of the effort. Our guys never gave up.
"Overall, it was a good, solid start to the spring season and we were competing against a very good Division II field," the coach explained. "I do think we were shaking off some rust, particularly from 100 yards out and certainly weren't as sharp as we have been. I think that (practice) will help us make a big jump over the next few weeks."
The Flames will return to action on March 8 when they travel to Greeneville, to take part in the Tusculum College Invitational.