Men's Golf Set for Final Postseason Tune Up

by Ashley Bourdier
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Men's Golf Set for Final Postseason Tune Up

BATON ROUGE – After capturing team titles in two of its last three tournament appearances, the 23rd-ranked LSU men’s golf team is playing with confidence as it wraps up the regular season this week with a trip to Austin, Texas, to compete in the 44th-annual Morris Williams Intercollegiate beginning Monday.

The two-day, 54-hole event will be held at the University of Texas Golf Club, which will play to a par 71 and 7,412 yards for the championship. Members of the 15-team field will play two rounds Monday with a third and final round scheduled for Tuesday to decide the championship.

The tournament honors a former Longhorn golfer who was killed in a plane crash while serving in the Air Force in 1953 following his collegiate career at the University of Texas from 1947-50.

The Morris Williams Intercollegiate has grown into one of the premier collegiate events of the spring, and this year is no exception as it features seven of the programs ranked in the latest Golfstat Top 25 poll.

The 23rd-ranked Tigers will join the likes of tournament host and No. 7 Texas, No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 5 Texas A&M, No. 19 Texas Tech, No. 20 Georgia and No. 24 TCU. Rounding out the 15-team field this week are Arkansas, Baylor, Kansas State, New Mexico, Pepperdine, SMU, Texas-San Antonio and Tulsa. The first round will begin Monday with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. CT.

The top-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys are the defending champions after winning the team crown last season with a 54-hole score of 11-over par 863. Oklahoma State’s Morgan Hoffmann and Southern California’s Tom Glissmeyer were co-medalists last spring with equal scores of 1-under 212.

Despite not competing in the Morris Williams Intercollegiate a year ago, the Tigers are ready to challenge for the team title as they are riding a wave of momentum into their regular-season finale. They will follow with an appearance in the 2010 SEC Men’s Golf Championships scheduled for April 16-18.

LSU is coming off an impressive performance in its victory at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate held March 28-30 at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, S.C.

The Tigers fired their second-lowest tournament score in relation to par this season at 7-under par 845 for a one-stroke victory over Wake Forest in the final team standings. The victory put an exclamation point onto the end of an outstanding month of March for the Tigers, which included a second-place finish at the John Hayt Invitational on March 2 and a victory at the Louisiana Classics on March 2.

LSU now owns three tournament championships of the 2009-10 season as the squad also defended its turf with a win at the David Toms Intercollegiate at the Country Club of Louisiana back on Oct. 27. With their performance, the Tigers have climbed back into the national rankings heading into Monday’s action.

LSU head coach Chuck Winstead has elected to play with the same five-man starting lineup that captured the team championship at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate last week.

Junior All-America candidates Andrew Loupe and John Peterson will join sophomores Austin Gutgsell, Josh Jones and Sang Yi in the starting lineup once again at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. This is the 10th tournament appearance of the season for Loupe, Peterson and Yi, while Gutgsell will make his eighth start and Jones will make his seventh start of the campaign.

Yi led the way for the Tigers by tying for third place on the leaderboard at the Hootie while firing the best tournament score of his collegiate career at 6-under 207. Loupe also solidified his All-America candidacy with his team-leading fourth Top 10 finish of the season with a tie for 10th place.

Loupe is the team’s top scorer and the No. 7 scorer in the SEC this season with an average of 72.0 strokes per round. Peterson follows as the No. 9 scorer in the SEC with an average of 72.3 strokes per round.

The Tigers are paired with Texas-San Antonio and Texas Tech during the first and second rounds and tee off from holes No. 7 through No. 10 with a shotgun start set for 8:30 a.m. Live scoring of the event will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com.