The Griffon menâ€™s golf team used a combination of youth and experience to fight their way to a fourth place finish at the Missouri Intercollegiate Golf Tournament. The Griffons got an eighth place finish from junior Aaron Lisenbee and finished ahead of all other MIAA teams competing in the tournament. He used a three under par 69 in the second round to jump into eighth place after having a tough first round. Lisenbee led the Griffons by finishing with a score of 224 overall.
â€œI had one bad hole in the first round, other than that I think I played well,â€ Lisenbee said.
Coach Jim Perry feels that the less experienced players also helped the Griffons with a good performance and finish. Freshmen Shane Feist fired a 232 to help the Griffons land the No. 4 position, and fellow freshman Brad Crawford also had a solid tournament.
â€œBrad had a real good tournament. He was 5 under at one time,â€ Perry said, â€œOnce he gets some experience he will be able to keep it at 5 under or lower.â€
Senior Daniel Cordray also turned in a great performance. He shot a 227 and finished in fifteenth place. Craig Lytle fired a solid 233 and Caleb Carter turned in a 246 to help boost the team.
The Griffons are optimistic about this season despite losing three of their top six players from last year. The team has their sights set on winning the conference despite these losses.
â€œThat is a goal that we set,â€ Perry said. â€œNobody thought we could challenge before that tournament.â€
Although the first tournament was a success, the team realizes that winning the conference wonâ€™t be easy. â€œWashburn will be tough to beat, they have a good team.â€ Perry said.
Having to play tough teams doesnâ€™t discourage the Griffons. The Griffon men may have shocked several of the other teams with their strong finish. A contributing factor to this reaction is the loss of key players such as Brice Garnett from last yearâ€™s team.
Lisenbee and his fellow teammates hope that the team can continue to improve as the season progresses.
â€œI think we can win the conference,â€ Lisenbee said. â€œHopefully I can shoot some low rounds and everyone else can follow.â€ Itâ€™s early in the season, but the team looks as if it will be able to put together a solid finish.
The teamâ€™s goal of winning the conference looks to be within reach. The Griffons must build on this strong start as the season progresses if they hope to win the conference for a second straight year. The Griffons next tournament is the Southwest Baptist Invitational on Sept. 18, in Bolivar, MO.