The Texas State men’s golf team returned to action on Monday at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate hosted by Louisiana Tech University. The team finished tied for 10th in group play.
Coach Shane Howell’s team this week consisted of the same group that participated in last week’s Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational: Torbjorn Johansen, Luis Thiele, Stuart Smallwood, Juan Diego Plasencia and Juan Carlos Benitez. Freshman Justin Newby also competed as an individual.
The Bobcats struggled to overcome the weekend’s weather conditions, which caused the cancellation of the scheduled practice run on Sunday before tee off on Monday.
“It was a tough rain Sunday, which canceled our practice,” Howell said. “We struggled with chipping and putting. We had the same mistakes as last week.”
The Bobcats were coming off the Colo. invitational where Thiele came off shooting a round of 69, one over his career best. Freshman Johansen showed promise in his college debut, stroking 73 in the first two rounds of play.
Benitez started the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate one under par in the first and eagled the par 5, second hole in the second round. The score put him on par for the second and one under par for the first two rounds combined. This placed Benitez in a tie for ninth after 36 holes, making him the highest placed Bobcat.
Smallwood shot an even-par 72 for his first round, placing 19th. He went three over par in the second round of play.
In the final round, Thiele and Plasencia both shot the Bobcats’ individual best of one over par. As a team, Texas State finished tied for 10th place, shooting 298, 301 and 298 for a combined score of 897, 33 over par.
Benitez and Smallwood finished tied for 18th place in individual competition with a 221 total.
“Hopefully, we’ll get a practice run in next time, but there is no excuse,” Smallwood said. “These were some of the toughest greens we’ll see all year.”
Individually, Travis Wilmore of Louisiana Tech won the day with a smooth 10 under par, with a total score of 206. The top three teams included first place Central Arkansas shooting 296, 283 and 290 for a total of 869. Southern Mississippi and Louisiana Tech followed with 873 and 876, respectively.
The Jim Rivers Intercollegiate was the first of two tournaments for the Bobcats in Ruston this year.
The Bobcats will return to Ruston this spring.
“In spring the guys will know the course better,” Howell said. “The course will be firmer and the ball will travel faster come the change in seasons, and our guys will be ready for the challenge.”