Crete, Ill. – Boasting the top four individual finishers in the tournament field, the Saint Xavier University men's golf team pulled away from the pack for a convincing team victory at the two-day Olivet Nazarene University Invite earlier this week at Balmoral Woods Golf Club in Crete, Ill. The Cougars finished the tournament with a combined team score of 622 over 40 strokes better than fellow Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) member Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) with a score of 665. Other teams competing in the six-team field included: CCAC members Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) and Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) as well as NCAA Division I Chicago State University (Ill.). Olivet Nazarene split its squad into two competing teams for the tournament.
"I am so proud of these guys, especially for how they handled the windy conditions over these last two days," said SXU first-year head golf coach Mike Mandakas. "We out-dueled some good teams from our conference and got a big win for our program. It is a great feeling to see this team succeed."
Junior James Kerr (Solihull, England/Western Texas/Arch Bishop Ilsley) took home the first-place individual trophy with an impressive two-day total of 154 (77 each round). Junior Brendan Ryan (Alsip, Ill./Moraine Valley CC/Shepard) finished second overall right behind Kerr with a two-day score of 155. Junior Kirby Brown (West Des Moines, Iowa/Kirkwood CC/Valley) and junior Dalton Stevens (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kirkwood CC/Jefferson) both turned in combined scores of 157 to tie for third place individually in the tournament field.
Saint Xavier heads to Fulton, Mo., next week to take part in the Williams Woods Invitational. The two-day event begins on Monday, October 1, and is held at the Tanglewood Golf Club.